Today in the Premier League

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Cesc Fabregas says the Gunners would be "very disappointed" if they do not win the title this season. The midfielder believes the balance of the squad could prove decisive. "Apart from William Gallas and Manuel Almunia everyone is 20, 22," he said. "There's a mix of youngsters and experience."

Aston Villa

The defender Curtis Davies expects to return soon from the knee injury he sustained during the 2-1 defeat at Fulham on Sunday. "It is sore at the moment but it does not look too serious," Davies, who received an England call-up last weekend, said. "I will have to see what the physios have to say."

Birmingham City

Manager Alex McLeish said the club's performances aren't being reflected in their results. "We are not getting what we deserve," he said. "That is an absolute fact, certainly in the last two games at St Andrew's. Maybe Lady Luck will smile on us a bit more kindly in the coming weeks."

Blackburn Rovers

Manager Mark Hughes has pushed David Bentley's claims for a starting place for England against Switzerland tomorrow. "He needs the opportunity to start games," Hughes said of the 23-year-old midfielder, who has won two caps. "If he does, people will see the quality that he could offer."

Bolton Wanderers

New signing Gary Cahill is optimistic about the Trotters' chances of staying in the Premier League following the club's victory at Reading on Saturday, their third sucessive clean sheet. "If we go out and approach every game in the same manner, we'll have no problems," he said. Cahill moved to the Reebok Stadium from Aston Villa last week.


Striker Franco di Santo said he is "in a dream" as he settles into Stamford Bridge. "I never imagined I would be here watching Michael Ballack or Frank Lampard playing pool," the 18-year-old arrival from Audax Italiano said. "Being with them and spending time with them is unbelievable. I really don't want to wake up from this dream."

Derby County

Mile Sterjovski could make his Rams debut against Tottenham on Saturday after being granted a work permit yesterday. "It's been the longest three weeks of my life and it was unfortunate my work permit had to go to appeal," he said. "But in the end we got the decision and that's the main thing."


Andrew Johnson said he disagreed with the decision to disallow his strike at Blackburn last weekend. "I held my run," the forward said. "We looked at the video and there are four people keeping us onside. It happens in football and it is disappointing as I feel we should have taken three points."


Manager Roy Hodgson believes the return to full fitness of Jimmy Bullard will prove key to the Cottager's chances of Premier League survival. "I think he has goals in him, and he can also set them up," Hodgson said. The midfielder scored the winning goal in the 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday.


Javier Mascherano hopes to make his transfer to Merseyside permanent by the end of the week. "The fans like me and I love the fans," the 23-year-old Argentinian international said. "They are great and that's the reason I want to stay. I will do everything I can to do so."

Manchester City

Kevin Etuhu believes the club's academy has helped improve him as a player. "The academy made a very big impression on me," he said. "They develop your skills and your mental strength. It makes you a man, the way it works, brings you up and makes you a respectable person."

Manchester United

Despite his impressive strike rate, Cristiano Ronaldo's future remains on the wing and not in central midfield, manager Alex Ferguson believes. "He would be a great threat," Ferguson said of the Portuguese international. "But if you take him away from the wing you lack penetration."


Gareth Southgate said he expected Jonathan Woodgate to suceed at Tottenham. "He is absolutely entitled to say what he wants to say. I have got no problem with that at all," Southgate said. "Jonathan is a fantastic player and he is showing that at Tottenham now."

Newcastle United

Manager Kevin Keegan believes Michael Owen remains a threat to Premier League defences, despite Sunday's goal being his first in the League since October. "I wouldn't worry about Michael," Keegan said. "He will get goals – he always has and always will – if you give him some chances."


Harry Redknapp has praised the impact of new signing Lassana Diarra. "He turned in a performance [against Chelsea last week] that you would have to go a long way to see in any league in the world," the manager said. "He's been like that every game from the minute he walked in the building."


Steve Coppell admitted he was affected by the derision of supporters during the home defeat to Bolton last week. "It is hurtful, I must admit," he said. "I heard some of the comments which I didn't particularly like, but I'm the manager. I'd prefer they are made at me than the players."


Dean Whitehead has called on referees to display greater courage at big clubs after the Black Cats were denied a penalty during the 3-0 defeat at Liverpool last week. "It's easy for the referee not to give the decision to an away side at Anfield," he said. "You just want consistency."

Tottenham Hotspur

Gareth Bale is expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the season. The 18-year-old sprained foot ligaments against Birmingham in December. "We are all disappointed for Gareth," director Damien Comolli said. "But he is still very young and his long-term fitness is our priority."

West Ham United

Julien Faubert, Bobby Zamora and Craig Bellamy were included in the squad for a friendly with Queens Park Rangers last night. "I hope some fresh legs and minds will come back into the squad for the long run-in," manager Alan Curbishley said. "Some of the players have been playing week in, week out without a break."

Wigan Athletic

Steve Bruce has set his players a target of 38 points to ensure Premier League survival. "We've 13 matches to go, and if we can get another 15 points I think we would be safe," the manager said. "It's going to be a tall order but that's why I'm here. I've been encouraged by the way the players have responded and their appetite for the battle."