SportsNet - January 2013
Norwich City and Tottenham Hotspur's FA Cup exits to non-league Luton Town and Championship outfit Leeds United respectively were among the upsets of the Fourth Round. The managers of the two Premier League clubs have both publicly welcomed the Wednesday night meeting between their sides coming so soon
"It’s good to have a game so quickly, it gives us an opportunity back in the Premier League and in a situation like this, the quicker the game comes, the better," Andre Villas-Boas told his club’s official website.
Chris Hughton echoed that sentiment in quotes on the Canaries’ site.
“What I’d like to expect is to see a reaction from my team. Whether that will see us put in a performance that we need to get a result that we want, we’ll only know that on Wednesday, but I’m quite sure it won’t be through a lack of effort.”
For differing reasons, both could really do with coming away from the midweek clash with three points.
After dismantling Fulham 4-1 in the FA Cup, Manchester United will return to Premier League play with a fixture against Southampton on Wednesday.
The Red Devils are currently going through an impressive phase of 13 undefeated domestic games, a run that is stretches back to November 2012.
Southampton on the other hand, are placed 14th in the league right now and will be playing only their second game under the charge on new manager Mauricio Pochettino, the first one being the 1-1 draw vs. Everton last weekend.
Team News and Starting 11
As per Sam Wells of Goal.com, after being benched for the cup game against Fulham, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Shinji Kagawa, Antonio Valencia and Robin van Persie are all expected to start on Wednesday night.
Rafael Da Silva and Patrice Evra are shoe-ins for the full-backs roles and Tom Cleverley is expected to be paired up alongside Michael Carrick in central midfield. Wayne Rooney, after a sparkling display against the Cottagers will likely spearhead the attack alongside the mercurial van Persie.
On Wednesday, January 30, 13th place Norwich City host 4th place Tottenham Hotspur. The hosts have 26 points while visitors have 41 points.
Earlier in the season, Norwich City went 10 matches unbeaten under the guidance of Chris Hughton, which in turn allayed any fears of relegation around Carrow Road.
However, ahead of Wednesday night's visit of Tottenham Hotspur, the threat of dropping back down to the Championship has returned for the Canaries.
Their recent record at home to Spurs is also not overly positive, having lost the last four league meetings between the two sides in Norfolk. However, they did manage to defeat the Londoners at home in the League Cup earlier in the campaign.
Chris Hughton is expected to make a host of changes after resting several key players in his side's shock FA Cup exit to Luton, with Grant Holt, Alexander Tettey, Michael Turner, Mark Bunn and Robert Snodgrass all set to return.
On Wednesday, January 30, Arsenal hosts Liverpool in midweek fixtures of Premier League. Both sides occupy consecutive position in the league table with Arsenal leading by 3 points.
Both sides registered impressive wins in the previous Premier League fixture scoring 5 goals each. But if Last week's FA cup outings are looked at there seems a cause of worry for both managers.
Arsenal survived a scare to qualify for the next round. Liverpool on the other hand lost to Oldham leaving manager Brendan Rodgers with lots of unanswered questions.
Arsene Wenger would be delighted with the form of Oliver Giroud after netting 4 goals in 2 games. Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski will feature along with Giriud. In the midfield Santi
Cazorla nad Jack Wilshere would be the key man with Abou Diaby playing the holding role. Tomas Rosicky and Oxlade Chamberlain could have a role to play later in the match.
Thomas Vermaelen is expected to return after injury but Arsene Wenger is likely to start with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny as his central defence partnership.
Kieran Gibbs and Bacary Sagna will be the wide men.
Arsenal welcome Liverpool to the Emirates on Wednesday, with both teams struggling for consistency in the Premier League this season. The hosts are in 6th place with 37 points while visitors Liverpool are in 7th place with 34 points.
Arsenal, in sixth place, survived a scare of their own in the FA Cup before prevailing 3-2 against Championship outfit Brighton and Hove Albion at the weekend. A largely disappointing season has left Arsene Wenger's side in sixth position in the table, four points behind Tottenham Hotspur, who currently sit in fourth. Liverpool have recovered from early troubles, meanwhile, and would move level on points with Arsenal should they pick up the win.
The reverse fixture earlier in the season ended in a 2-0 win for the Gunners, but Liverpool were victorious the last time they travelled to Arsenal in the league, a 2-0 success in August 2011.