FC Transfer News: Demba Ba completes Blues move” href=”https://sportingalert.com/2013/01/chelsea-fc-transfer-news-demba-ba-completes-blues-move/”>but did commented that he did not join Chelsea from Newcastle, where he was the top man, to play second fiddle to the Spaniard.
Ba made a dream debut for Chelsea when he fired in a brace in the Blues’ 5-1 win over Southampton in the English FA Cup third round game over the weekend and has set his sights on adding to the 13 EPL goals he has scored this season as well.
Ba also revealed how former Blues forward Didier Drogba inspired him to be a world-class front man, but added that his success is base on his own qualities.
“Every time I arrive at a club, it’s always as the second attacker. But every time, through hard work, I impose myself,” Ba was quoted as telling French newspaper LeParisien.
“We’re two different players, but I appreciate Didier enormously. It’s difficult to compare oneself to him in view of how much he achieved at Chelsea.
“He has greatly inspired me throughout my career but I know my own qualities.”
Ba made a reported £7.5million move from Newcastle United last week, after Chelsea triggered the transfer release clause in his contract.
Torres transfer fee was £50million and at the time of his move from Liverpool, many had believed he would have been the future striker for the club.
However, his struggles and lack of confidence in front of goals against the bigger teams, forced Chelsea to look elsewhere for another forward.
Torres had said he had no problems with another striker’s arrival, but did requested something.
It is believed that the Spanish international had asked that a none superstar striker be bought in the January transfer window, but Chelsea clearly wasn’t going to miss out on a proven goalscorer in the English Premier League.
Another EPL side, Arsenal was also in the race to sign Ba, but Arsene Wenger’s slow approach saw Rafa Benitez beating him to the signature.
ST MARY’S (Sporting Alert) Chelsea have decided to hand new signing Demba Ba an immediate starts up front for Chelsea for today’s English FA Cup third round tie with fellow Premier League outfits Southampton.
Ba, who made the switch from Newcastle earlier this week, trained with the team on Friday and manager Rafa Benitez has decided on handed the striker his Chelsea debut and drop Fernando Torres to the bench.
Also on the bench for Chelsea are midfielder Frank Lampard and Oscar, alongside Marko Marin and Ryan Bertrand.
Ross Turnbull continues in goal for the defending champions, with Petr Cech still out, while Ramires, David Luiz, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Victor Moses all start the game.
For Southampton, leading striker Rickie Lambert starts on the bench, but James Ward-Prowse and Jay Rodriguez both return to the side.
Southampton will be going for the win today with the manager keeping most of the top players, which played in Premier League 1-1 draw with Arsenal in midweek in his team.
Southampton vs Chelsea Teams
Southampton: Boruc, Cork, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw, Puncheon, Steven Davis, Schneiderlin, Ward-Prowse, Do Prado, Rodriguez.
Subs: Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Lambert, Lee, Mayuka, Reeves, De Ridder.
Chelsea: Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole, Ramires, Luiz, Mata, Hazard, Moses, Ba
Subs: Hilario, Lampard, Torres, Oscar, Ferreira, Marin, Bertrand.
ST MARY’S (Sporting Alert) – Arsene Wenger has revealed that Thierry Henry would not be making a third return to Arsenal in the January transfer window, despite rumors linking the Frenchman with another loan spell with the London club.
Wenger made the comment following Arsenal’s 1-1 draw at Southampton.
He did, however, confirmed that he would like to sign a few players in this transfer window as his squad certainly needs strengthening.
“No [it is not happening],” Wenger said. “He is not ready, he has just come back from holiday anyway.”
“At the moment we are not on that case,” he added on the club’s official website at www.arsenal.com.
“But I will be active [in the January window] yes.
“We are looking everywhere. We are open-minded.
“We want to strengthen the squad everywhere.”
After beating Newcastle 7-3 over the weekend, Arsenal failed to spark at St Mary’s against Southampton and are Wenger believes his side was lucky to come away with a draw.
“Considering our performance I don’t think we deserved more today. It is two points dropped if you look at the target we set ourselves over Christmas,” he said on Arsenal.com
“It is frustrating and disappointing because we did not create a lot and if you considered we scored five at Reading and seven against Newcastle.
“When you sum up the goal chances there is not a lot. We lacked purpose, penetration and speed. All qualities we have usually but lacked tonight.”
“Southampton deserve some credit as well. They fought for every ball, they were on their toes but they just did not have quite enough quality to take advantage of it,” the manager said.
Wenger also refused to criticize Theo Walcott, who failed to offer any offensive threat at central forward.
He said, “It is hard to single out anyone. Nobody was put in good conditions to express anything decent offensively.”
ST MARY’S (Sporting Alert) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has named an unchanged team for this afternoon’s Barclays Premier League trip to Southampton.
This means that Theo Walcott remains the center forward with Olivier Giroud left on the bench once again.
Walcott started and scored a brilliant hat-trick against Newcastle over the weekend and Wenger has decided to keep that same team that won 7-3.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also starts against his former club, so too is Laurent Koscielny, who will partner captain Thomas Vermaelen at centre half.
German Per Mertesacker is back on the bench after missing Saturday’s game because illness, while winger Gervinho also starts as a sub.
Southampton vs Arsenal FC Teams
Arsenal FC: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen (c), Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski, Walcott. Subs: Martinez, Mertesacker, Coquelin, Ramsey, Rosicky, Gervinho, Giroud.
Southampton: Boruc, Cork, Fonte (c), Yoshida, Shaw, Puncheon, Schneiderlin, S. Davis, Guly, Ram�rez, Lambert. Subs: K.Davis, Hooiveld, Rodriguez, Ward-Prowse, Richardson, Mayuka, De Ridder.
ST MARY’S (Sporting Alert) – Theo Walcott will start as the center forward again when Arsenal travel to St. Mary’s Stadium to face Southampton in their Barclays Premier League fixture on Tuesday.
Walcott is coming off a three goal performance in the Gunners’ 7-3 hammering of Newcastle over the weekend and manager Arsene Wenger is set to keep his same line-up for the New Year’s Day trip.
Olivier Giroud is back and came off the bench to score twice in the last game.
Still, the center forward is finding it difficult to win back his place in the starting team.
“He (Walcott) likes it [in that position]. But I believe Theo is just happy to play, even if he is on the wing because he still knows he can score,” Wenger told Arsenal.com.
“I like the fact he can play through the middle because it gives us more opportunities to do that and more possibilities to change from game to game. I will do it again.”
The 23-year-old Walcott will come up against his former club and the England attacker is looking forward to the special occasion.
“Looking at our Premier League form recently, it has been very strong,” Walcott said on Arsenal official website at www.arsenal.com.
“We are looking to climb the table, take every game as it comes and we have another match on Tuesday.
“It will be a very tough occasion against Southampton, but it is one I am really looking forward to. I am probably going to wrap myself in bubble wrap for the next few days!
“It will be a very special moment for me and Alex [Oxlade-Chamberlain], and also for some of the fans to see us come back to the club.”
Centre-back Per Mertesacker is once again available after he missed the Newcastle contest because of illness, but Wenger is expected to name an unchanged starting squad which means Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny could continue at the back.
In Southampton team news, the Saints will again be without captain Adam Lallana, who has a knee injury.
Manager Nigel Adkins could also be without right-back Nathaniel Clyne, who is complaining about knee problems as well.
Event: BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
Venue: St Mary’s Stadium
Date: Tuesday, 1 January, 2013
Live ELP latest scores live
PREDICTION: Arsenal 3 vs Southampton 1
Southampton vs Arsenal Teams:
Southampton squad: K Davis, Gazzaniga, Boruc, Richardson, Butterfield, Stephens, Clyne, Fox, Shaw, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Fonte, Reeves, Ward-Prowse, Do Prado, Cork, Chaplow, De Ridder, Ramirez, Schneiderlin, S Davis, Puncheon, Lee, Lambert, Rodriguez, Mayuka.
Arsenal squad: Szczesny, Gibbs, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Sagna, Arteta, Cazorla, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski, Walcott, Mannone, Ramsey, Coquelin, Giroud, Gervinho, Djourou, Jenkinson, Arshavin.
(Sporting Alert) Seven of the games either Premier League games have already completed and the final one in currently in progess in a busy day of action today. Follow the Premier League live scores and score updates from all the games on and stay up-to-date with your favourite teams.
English Premier League Live Scores – FULL TIME RESULT
18:30 – ‘ Arsenal 7 vs 3 Newcastle – FULL-TIME
Walcott 20′, 73′, 90+2′; Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 50, Lukas Podolski 64, Olivier Giroud 85′, 87′
Ba 43′, 69; Sylvain Marveaux 59′
English Premier League Live Scores – FULL TIME
There were wins for Manchester United, Manchester City, Wigan, Swansea City, Tottenhamand Reading on the busy day of football action around England.
Ten Man Manchester City battled to 4-3 win over Norwich after taking a quick 2-0 lead inside the opening five minutes of the game.
Stoke City came back to draw 3-3 with Southampton in a thrilling contest, while Wigan grabbed an important win over Aston Villa.
Robin van Persie came off the bench to score for Manchester United in their 2-0 win over West Bromwich, a victory that sees the leaders maintain their seven point lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League table with City back in second.
Manchester United have now netted 50 goals this season.
3:45 Full-Time Sunderland 1 vs 2 Tottenham
16:00 Full-Time Aston Villa 0 vs 3 Wigan
16:00 Full-Time Fulham 1 vs 2 Swansea
16:00 Full-Time Manchester United 2 vs 0 West Brom
16:00 Full-Time Norwich 3 vs 4 Manchester City
16:00 Full-Time Reading 1 vs 0 West Ham
16:00 Full-Time Stoke City 3 vs 3 Southampton
(Sporting Alert) — The Following the Barclays Premier League table standings heading into this weekend’s fixture of games around the country.
Manchester United, which play against Swansea City this weekend, head the point standing with 42 points, six more that city rivals and defending champions Manchester City, which sit second on 36.
Sir Alex Ferguson team also remains the only side the Barclays Premier League this season without a draw – winning 14 of their 17 games played so far.
Manchester United, led by summer signing Robin van Persie, have netted 43 goals thus far this season, ten more than Manchester City.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are in third place in the league with 29 points and Rafa Benitez side also has a game in hand after the clash against Southampton was rescheduled because the Blues’ Club World Cup participation.
The top five is completed by Tottenham, which also have 29 points and Arsenal, who after their 5-2 hammering of Reading, moved to fifth with 27 points.
The second five have Everton and West Bromwich with 27 points, Norwich City, who have 25 points, Stoke City on 24 and Swansea on 23 points.
QPR got its first win of the season over the weekend, still remain in the bottom three, along with Reading and Wigan.
(Sporting Alert) — Fernando Torres has scored twice to give Chelsea a first half lead over the struggling Sunderland in the Barclays Premier League.
There are also first half leads for Arsenal and Norwich in a busy day of Premiership football.
At the Stadium of Light, Torres, who scored a brace in the Champions League in midweek, open the scoring in the 11th minute of play, before double his tally and Chelsea’s from the penalty spot shortly before the break.
A confident Torres brush aside David Luiz’s attempt to take the strike after Ramires was brought down and calmly slotted past Simon Mignolet in goal.
Over at The Liberty Stadium, Norwich have taken a shocking 3-0 lead against hosts Swansea City, with Wesley Hoolahan, Sebastien Bassong and Grant Holt grabbing the goals for Chris Hughton’s on form side.
Mikel Arteta has given Arsenal a 1-0 half-time lead over West Bromwich at Emirates Stadium in another contest.
Wigan and Queens Park Rangers are locked at 1-1 at the DW Stadium.
The games between Aston Villa vs Stoke City and Southampton vs Reading are still scoreless.
Arsenal 1-0 WBA, Villa 0-0 Stoke
Southampton 0-0 Reading
Sunderland 0-2 Chelsea
Swans 0-3 Norwich, Wigan 1-1 QPR
LONDON (Sporting Alert) — Manchester United hold a two point lead at the top of Barclays Premier League table standings, following the latest round of matches this weekend.
United came from 2-0 down to beat Aston Villa on Saturday and move to 27 points, two more than arch-rivals and defending champions Manchester City, who also came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 at home.
Third place Chelsea are on 24 points after Luis Suarez scored in the second for Liverpool to draw 1-1 with the Blues at Stamford Bridge.
Everton, on 20 points and West Bromwich, 20 also, complete the top five teams in the table standings, while West Ham United (18), Tottenham (17), Arsenal (16), Fulham (16) and Newcastle (14) are all in the top ten.
Winless QPR sit at the bottom of the table, while Southampton and Reading are also in the relegation zone.
ENGLAND: Barclays Premier League Table Standings
1. Manchester United 11 9 0 2 29-16 27
2. Manchester City 11 7 4 0 20-10 25
3. Chelsea 11 7 3 1 23-11 24
4. Everton 11 5 5 1 21-14 20
5. West Brom 11 6 2 3 17-12 20
6. West Ham 11 5 3 3 14-11 18
7. Tottenham 11 5 2 4 18-16 17
8. Arsenal 11 4 4 3 18-11 16
9. Fulham 11 4 4 3 24-19 16
10. Newcastle 11 3 5 3 12-15 14
11. Swansea 11 3 4 4 16-15 13
12. Stoke City 11 2 6 3 9-10 12
13. Liverpool 11 2 6 3 14-16 12
14. Wigan 11 3 2 6 12-18 11
15. Norwich 11 2 5 4 8-18 11
16. Sunderland 10 1 6 3 7-11 9
17. Aston Villa 11 2 3 6 10-17 9
18. Reading 10 0 6 4 12-18 6
19. Southampton 11 1 2 8 15-29 5
20. QPR 11 0 4 7 8-20 4
(Sporting Alert) — Gareth Bale returns to the starting line-up for Tottenham, while Rickie Lambert is also back for Southampton for today’s Barclays Premier League clash at St. Mary’s Stadium.
Bale missed Tottenham’s Premier League defeat against Chelsea last week, as well as the 1-1 draw with Maribor in the Europa League on Thursday due to the birth of his child.
However, the speedy Welshman winger has been recalled to help to boost the starting XI for Spurs.
Veteran keeper Brad Friedel remains in goal ahead of Frenchman Hugo Lloris, while Aaron Lennon, Clint Dempsey and Jermain Defoe lead a strong attacking line-up.
Striker Lambert is back in the starting line-up for Southampton after his shocking exclusion from last week’s team that went down to West Ham.
Jay Rodriguez also starts for the Saints who are in need of a victory.
LINE-UPS: Southampton v Tottenham Teams
Southampton: Boruc, Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Fox, Puncheon, Schneiderlin, Steven Davis, Lallana, Lambert, Rodriguez
Subs: Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Ward-Prowse, Do Prado, Mayuka, Chaplow, Reeves
Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Caulker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Sandro, Huddlestone, Lennon, Dempsey, Bale, Defoe
Subs: Lloris, Naughton, Dawson, Sigurdsson, Falque, Livermore, Townsend
Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)
LONDON (Sporting Alert) — Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will welcome back goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny after the Poland first choice recovered from a rib injury for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League game against Southampton.
However, there are still doubts over the availability of England winger Theo Walcott French midfielder Abou Diaby for the clash at Emirates Stadium.
Walcott was forced to miss England’s 2014 World Cup qualifier draw with Ukraine in midweek because of a virus, while Diaby, who has been very impressive since returning injury this season, could be out of this contest after he picked up a minor knee problem playing for France.
The game will also see England winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain going up against his former club Southampton and Wenger wants his youngster to forget about the past.
“He has to forget that it’s his former club and just play,” Wenger said on Arsenal.com. “It’s always a little bit special for the guys who play against their former clubs – and I’ve not seen many players who can deal well with that.
“Sometimes they are absolutely outstanding, but most of the time they have a very average day.
“You try to assess how big the weight of this special moment will play on their mind. The more experienced they are, the better they deal with it.”
Southampton will look to bounce back from the disappointing 3-2 defeat to United in their last outing.
Arsenal (Squad): Szczesny, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Cazorla, Diaby, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arteta, Podolski, Giroud, Mannone, Koscielny, Ramsey, Santos, Coquelin, Walcott, Gervinho, Djourou.
Southampton (Squad): Davis, Gazzaniga, Richardson, Butterfield, Clyne, Fox, Shaw, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Fonte, Seabourne, Stephens, Chambers, Ward-Prowse, Do Prado, Chaplow, Cork, De Ridder, Ramirez, Lallana, Schneiderlin, Puncheon, Hammond, Davis, Lambert, Lee, Rodriguez, Mayuka.
ST MARY’S (Sporting Alert) — Rio Ferdinand has been handed a shocking start for Manchester United for this evening’s Barclays Premier League clash with Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium.
The England defender recently returned to full training after being out with a groin injury, but reports had claimed that he would not have been fully fit to play.
Ferdinand, however, has come into the starting XI to replace Michael Carrick at the back and partner captain Nemanja Vidic at center half.
Carrick will return to his midfield duties in midfield and plays alongside Tom Cleverley, with Paul Scholes and Nick Powell both on the bench.
Also coming into the starting line-up for all come into Manchester United are goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard and forward Danny Welbeck.
Lindegaard comes in for David De Gea, while Welbeck gets the start over Javier Hernandez and will play alongside Robin van Persie in the forward line, with the injured Ashley Young making way.
Nani, Ryan Giggs, and Jonny Evans are all amongst the substitutes.
Southampton vs Manchester United
Southampton: K.Davis; Clyne, Fonte, Hooiveld, Fox; S.Davis Schneiderlin, Ward-Prowse; Puncheon, Lambert, Lallana.
Subs: Rodriguez, Gazzaniga, Lee, Do Prado, Richardson, Mayuke, Seaborne
Manchester United: Lindegaard; Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Carrick, Cleverley, Kagawa; Valencia, van Persie, Welbeck.
Subs: Evans, De Gea, Giggs, Hernandez, Nani, Scholes, Powell.