Today in the Premier League

Click to follow
The Independent Football


The club are to host a pre-season tournament at the Emirates stadium over the weekend of 2 and 3 August. The competition will feature the Spanish champions Real Madrid, Juventus and Hamburg. "We are delighted at the calibre of the visiting teams," the managing director Keith Edelman said.

Aston Villa

Martin O'Neill has praised the efforts of his players this season, but says they can learn from videos of Manchester United's pair, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo. "It would be hard not to have a look at the DVD," he said. "Watch them play and pick up things from watching those players."

Birmingham City

The manager Alex McLeish said he will not rush the midfielder James McFadden back into action as the Scotland international recovers from keyhole surgery on his knee. "I can't force the issue and cause problems long term," McLeish said. "I'd rather just let them heal and wait and see."

Blackburn Rovers

Serie A side Milan have been linked with a move for the Rovers defender Christopher Samba. The 24-year-old Congo international has made 35 starts for the club this season and has a contract at Ewood Park until 2012. Milan are hoping to sign the central defender after a disappointing campaign.

Bolton Wanderers

Andy O'Brien insists the Trotters entertain hopes of preserving their Premier League status, despite currently lying four points from safety in 18th place. "It's our livelihood at the end of the day," the 28-year-old said "It's what we play football for, to play at the highest level, and we want to be going to Old Trafford and all the big grounds."


The Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel has warned champions Manchester United that the Blues are ready to take advantage of any slip-ups in the title race. "Towards the end of the league, we play United at Stamford Bridge," he said. "I think that is going to be the deciding game, so we must keep winning as we wait for the big one."

Derby County

The Rams manager Paul Jewell fears disappointment in his quest to make Hossam Ghaly's loan move from Tottenham Hotspur permanent. "We would like to keep him if we can." Jewell said of the 26-year-old Egypt international. "But there's a danger of other clubs making a move."


Leon Osman believes he can add to his tally of seven goals as the Toffees look to catch Liverpool in fourth position. "I hope to reach 10 goals before the end of the season," the 26-year-old midfielder said. "The gap between ourselves and Liverpool is not insurmountable and we will keep going."


David Healy maintains his wishes of remaining at Craven Cottage next season, despite a disappointing debut season where he has struggled for form, starting just 12 League games. "I'm committed to the club," the 28-year-old forward said. "I want to play and be part of the club's future."


Sami Hyypia has spoken of his delight at signing a new contract with the Reds. The 34-year-old's new deal will take him into a 10th year at Anfield. "I'm delighted everyone wants me to stay," the Finnish defender said. "I have a good relationship with the club, the fans and the players."

Manchester City

The manager Sven Goran Eriksson has said he would support any move to bring the Brazil international Ronaldinho to the club following reports City have started negotiations with the forward's representatives. "I would accept him and be very happy," Eriksson said.

Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named as ambassador for the IRC/Uefa Euro 2008 "Score for the Red Cross" campaign. The Portuguese midfielder will be presented with a £50,000 cheque ahead of the visit of Roma tomorrow as a first donation for the landmine victims charity.


Afonso Alves said he feels he has now adapted to English football after scoring his first goals for the club in the 2-2 draw with Manchester United on Sunday. "I knew the goals would come," the 27-year-old striker said. "I'm looking forward to a successful career in the Premier League."

Newcastle United

Magpies striker Obafemi Martins believes the club can look forward to a brighter future after seemingly securing their League status with a third successive victory. "All the players want to stay next season," the Nigerian international said. "If we continue to play like this, we will be top."


The striker Jermain Defoe misses the trip to former side West Ham United tonight following the death of his grandmother. David Nugent is handed a rare start, while the defender Lauren could also feature.

Probable team (4-4-2): James; Johnson, Campbell, Distin, Lauren; Mendes, Muntari, Kranjcar, Diop; Baros, Nugent.


Royals midfielder James Harper believes this Saturday's visit of Fulham could prove a pivotal match in terms of the relegation battle. "We've got to have a right go, we've got no choice," he said. "Bolton are six points off us and we've got to win. It's going to be a right ding-dong."


Defender James Collins said he was pleased to help out in attack on Saturday as he scored his first goal of the season in the 3-1 win at Fulham. "It's good for the defence to chip in," he said. "Kenwyne [Jones, the forward] comes back and helps us out so we should go up there and help the strikers."

Tottenham Hotspur

Jermaine Jenas said the players appreciate the club's support following the 1-1 draw at Blackburn on Saturday. "We can't applaud them enough," the midfielder said. "We got stuffed last week and they could have stayed at home. They always travel in numbers, are loud and drive us on."

West Ham United

James Tomkins could regain a place in defence for the visit of Portsmouth tonight as Matthew Upson (calf) remains a doubt. George McCartney (hamstring) should be available, while striker Freddie Sears may earn a first start.

Probable team (4-4-2): Green; Neill, Tomkins, Ferdinand, McCartney; Solano, Mullins, Parker, Noble; Sears/Ashton, Cole.

Wigan Athletic

Emile Heskey said he was pleased to see team-mate Ryan Taylor score both goals in the Latics' 2-0 win over Birmingham last weekend. "I am made up for Ryan because he's a smashing player," Heskey said. "He finished the first brilliantly and then got in ahead of me for the second. He showed character after missing a penalty last week."