LONDON: Alexis Sanchez is poised to make his Premier League debut for Manchester United against Spurs on Wednesday (today) as Chelsea host Bournemouth in a full set of midweek fixtures. Elsewhere, runaway leaders Manchester City take on West Brom. Here are some of the major talking points ahead of this week’s matches.
A few weeks ago Jose Mourinho looked glum, forced to fend off rumours that he is unhappy in Manchester and that he was disappointed with the relative lack of spending power at his disposal. It’s probably too late for Manchester United to catch Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City but Mourinho is looking upbeat after signing a contract extension and boosting his firepower with the signing of Alexis Sanchez. The Chile international sparkled during the routine 4-0 FA Cup victory against lowly Yeovil Town on Friday but it was his hard work as much as his creative play that caught the eye of his new teammates. “Obviously we know his quality on the ball, he’s amazing, but his fight, the way he defends, he’s the first player to defend — I really like it,” said midfielder Ander Herrera
Pep Guardiola has called for better protection for players after forward Leroy Sane injured his ankle in Manchester City’s FA Cup tie against Championship side Cardiff. But City are unlikely to get an easy ride against Alan Pardew’s West Brom, who have amassed the second-highest number of yellow cards this season in the Premier League (47). West Brom have three wins and a draw in their past four fixtures in all competitions, including Saturday’s 3-2 FA Cup win at Anfield. But despite their uptick in form, Pardew desperately needs the points to pull his side out of the relegation zone.
Stoke City boss Paul Lambert oversees his second league game against a Watford side stewarded by Javi Gracia in his first while the south coast battle between Southampton and Brighton & Hove Albion should be equally hardfought.
Everton manager Sam Allardyce was quick to berate the timing of this week’s fixtures, which clash with the closing of the January transfer window on Wednesday.Allardyce said he will spend the morning monitoring what is always a fast-moving market before turning his attention to the evening clash with Leicester City.