The Guardian

GUARDIAN – Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend | Paul Doyle

Arsenal’s grey clouds lifting, Sturridge’s injury benefiting Suárez, Pellegrini under pressure and Pulis the great entertainerArsenal have won just two of their last eight matches but they will arrive for this one in upbeat form. Not only will the sight of Hull remind them that they will soon contest an FA Cup final and perhaps end their epic trophy-drought, but Everton’s surprising defeat to Crystal Palace has given Arsenal a boost in the chase for the last Champions League spot meaning that, like last season and contrary to the stereotype, Arsenal could take advantage of another team’s bottling. Hull, meanwhile, still need a victory to confirm their Premier League survival and Steve Bruce will likely give Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic the chance to shoot past Wojciech Szczesny none of that trio are likely to feature in the final so all talk of a dress rehearsal for Wembley is to be treated with the contempt that all cliches deserve, at the end of the day. Continue reading…

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The Guardian

GUARDIAN – Manchester City’s relaunched women’s team favourites to win Super League | Anna Kessel

With two divisions for the first time and more media and commercial interest, the female brand of football aims to put its boom-and-bust past behind it this season”We think over the next four years WSL1 will be full-time professionals,” says Kelly Simmons, the Football Association’s director of the national game and women’s football. “Four years ago I remember talking to England players and they were giving up their holidays, working full time, trying to train at night, giving it all up to play for England. A big part of creating WSL was to make them full time and raise the standards in this country.” Continue reading…

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The Guardian

GUARDIAN – Manuel Pellegrini insists three teams can still win Premier League title

Manchester City’s head coach believes Chelsea and Liverpool remain firmly in the hunt, despite what rival managers sayManuel Pellegrini has had enough of Manchester City’s title rivals getting their excuses in early, and praised Arsne Wenger for being honest enough to keep repeating that Arsenal can still mount achallenge.Jos Mourinho is fond of saying Chelsea’s chance has gone, while Brendan Rodgers is attempting to have everyone believe Liverpool would regard anything in addition to a Champions League place as a bonus, but the City manager is having none of it. “Big teams near the top of the table are all under pressure,” he said. “I don’t know why managers say otherwise because I don’t think it’s true. Maybe they are covering themselves in case they don’t win the title, but the reality is that at a big club you work under pressure every week. This whole profession is about pressure and how to handle itMaybe if you are 10 points off the top of the table with nothing left to play for there is no pressure, but that is not the situation here. Continue reading…

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