Build-up to Saturday’s Premier League

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Live Reporting

By Phil Dawkes

All times stated are UK

  1. Howe for now

    Norwich v Bournemouth (15:00 GMT)

    OK, I have a query, and it is no way designed to put any further pressure than is warranted on the manager in question…

    Can Bournemouth even contemplate sacking Eddie Howe?

    If they lose today, media outlets a lot more cutthroat than ourselves will start making noise about the possibility. But with the Cherries having being moulded (superbly I might add) by Howe since 2012, would a change be a positive move or top-flight suicide?

    There is a Catch-22 feel about the whole thing.

  2. ‘It makes no sense for Eriksen to move in this transfer window’

    Watford v Tottenham (12:30 GMT)

    Jermaine Jenas

    Ex-Tottenham and Newcastle midfielder on BBC Radio 5 Live

    In Christian Eriksen, I am seeing a committed player, I am seeing a good attitude, but fitness wise he is not playing up to the level he usually can play at. I am seeing a player who is being very professional player and doing his job. For me, this makes no sense for him to move in this transfer window.

  3. Fernandes move in limbo

    Bruno Fernandes

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Bit of transfer news to bring you…

    Manchester United’s attempt to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes has stalled because the clubs cannot agree a fee.

    Sporting are demanding 80m euros (£68m) for the 25-year-old, which United are unwilling to pay.

    Talks are continuing between the clubs for a player rated at 45m euros by Tottenham Hotspur last summer.

    One thing is for sure – Manchester United need a midfielder with a bit about him.

  4. The main man

    Watford v Tottenham (12:30 GMT)

    How important is Troy Deeney to this Watford side? This important…

    Troy Deeney

    Copyright: BBC Sport

  5. ‘Spurs last three games have been worrying’

    Watford v Tottenham (12:30 GMT)

    Jermaine Jenas

    Ex-Tottenham and Newcastle midfielder on BBC Radio 5 Live

    There is no magic wand from a new manager coming in. It’s a different scenario Jose Mourinho joining Spurs than Nigel Pearson going to Watford. From Mourinho’s point of view, he walked into a team that is just off the back of a Champions League final and are in freefall. They are lacking confidence, they were leaking goals everywhere. He had to go into games and look what to do. Initially there was a response. The last three games have been worrying. There have been some of the worst performances I have seen from Spurs in a long time. There is still so much to do.

  6. Post update

    Sun is out at Vicarage Road but it ain’t warm. Lots of players wearing gloves in the warm-up, along with a couple of snoods. Serge Aurier is dressed up like a hipster snowman he has that many items of winter wear on.

  7. Post update

    Ismaila Sarr is indeed a full-back’s nightmare. He is quick, he’s skillful and under Nigel Pearson his abilities are being channelled in the right direction.

    On the other side of the pitch, there is Gerard Deulofeu, who is equally quick and tricky. Good luck Serge and Japhet.

  8. ‘Sarr is a fullback’s nightmare’

    Watford v Tottenham (12:30 GMT)

    Tom Cleverley

    Watford midfielder on BBC Radio 5 Live

    Ismaila Sarr is a young player, he’s come from France, his confidence was low, he didn’t look like he was enjoying himself. The manager has seen that and put an arm around him, told the lads to give him the ball and now looks like he could be great. His stand out feature is that he is an unbelievable athlete. He is a fullback’s nightmare. He can sprint in behind and then sprint back. He can sprint for 90 minutes. Technically he is not the polished article but he has more in him.

  9. The lowdown on Big Nige

    Watford v Tottenham (12:30 GMT)

    If you want to know a bit more about the wonderful work that has been done in a very short time by Nigel Pearson at Watford, why not have a read of the piece on our site all about big Nige.

    The writer of the piece not only really knows his stuff, but is also an extremely handsome man, who has many leather-bound books and an apartment that smells of rich mahogany.


    As we’ve gone past the half-way point in the January transfer window, how are you feeling about your club’s business so far?

    Doesn’t feel like anything has really happened yet, but who do you need to shift, what positions do you need players in and who are the links you’d like to see become reality?

  11. Eriksen row

    Watford v Tottenham (12:30 GMT)

    So no Christian Eriksen then for Spurs. Binned off to the bench.

    Word on the street is that Inter Milan are in for the Dane. Although, Jose Mourinho did have a pop at Inter boss Antonio Conte for discussing a potential transfer.

    No love lost between those two then.

    As for Eriksen, and with no disrespect meant, I can’t help but feel that Inter is a downgrade on the level of club he will have thought he could move to in the summer.

  12. ‘Pearson had an instant aura’

    Watford v Tottenham (KO 12:30 GMT)

    Tom Cleverley

    Watford midfielder on BBC Radio 5 Live

    Nigel Pearson has stripped it back to basics. He has come in and ruffled a few feathers which I don’t think people were used to. Even in his first day, new managers usually bring the staff in and have a small meeting with the players but he said no. He was by himself, got the whole club at the training ground and gave a speech about how he wants to operate, the route he wants to go down and he had an instant aura. He is the type of guy you are willing to run for, you’re a little bit scared of and he has been brilliant for us.

  13. Team news

    Watford v Tottenham (12:30 GMT)

    Watford are unchanged from the side that beat Bournemouth 3-0 last time out, but new signing Ignacio Pusseto is on the bench.

    Watford XI: Foster, Mariappa,
    Cathcart, Dawson, Masina, Chalobah, Capoue, Doucoure, Sarr, Deulofeu, Deeney.

    Gomes, Gray, Quina, Holebas, Kabasele, Pussetto, Pereyra.

    Watford team v Spurs

    Copyright: BBC Sport

    Jose Mourinho makes three changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Liverpool last Saturday, with Jan Vertonghen, Erik Lamela and Giovani Lo Celso in for Danny Rose, Davinson Sanchez and Christian Eriksen, who will be on the bench alongside new loan signing Gedson Fernandes.

    Spurs XI: Gazzaniga, Tanganga, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Aurier, Alli, Winks,
    Lo Celso, Son Heung-Min S, Lamela, Lucas Moura.

    Substitutes: Vorm, Sanchez, Dier, Sessegnon, Eriksen, Skipp,

    Spurs team

    Copyright: BBC Sport

  14. Now we’ve started

    Watford v Tottenham (12:30 GMT)

    Right, let’s start focusing in on the first game of the day – between in-form Watford and Tottenham at Vicarage Road.

    We’ll have full team news for that in the next entry…

  15. Early team news

    West Ham v Everton (15:00 GMT)

    West Ham United goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski is facing several weeks out following a recurrence of the hip injury that previously sidelined him for three months.

    New signing Darren Randolph is set to deputise but Felipe Anderson, Michail Antonio and Arthur Masuaku are doubts.

    Everton forward Richarlison twisted his knee in training and will miss his first match of the season.

    Gylfi Sigurdsson is also injured but Yerry Mina is available.

    Long-term absentees Andre Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin have returned to training.

  16. Early team news

    Southampton v Wolves (15:00 GMT)

    Injury-hit Wolves will be without Ruben Vinagre, who suffered a hamstring injury in the midweek FA Cup defeat.

    This has led to left-sided player Ryan Giles being recalled from loan at Shrewsbury, and the teenager is likely to be on the bench.

    Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has no fresh injury worries.

    The only absentee is full-back Yan Valery, who has been suffering from a virus but is expected to rejoin training at the end of the month.

  17. Early team news

    Norwich v Bournemouth (15:00 GMT)

    Norwich’s Teemu Pukki is back after a thigh injury, while captain Ben Godfrey returns after missing the last five league games with a knee problem.

    Josip Drmic is fit after a hamstring injury and new signings Lukas Rupp and Ondrej Duda could also feature.

    Injury-hit Bournemouth remain without Joshua King and Jack Stacey, who are sidelined with hamstring injuries.

    Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale could be fit, having missed the defeat by Watford because of a minor hamstring problem.

  18. Early team news

    Man City v Crystal Palace (15:00 GMT)

    Manchester City have no new reported injury problems ahead of the visit of Crystal Palace.

    Aymeric Laporte is back in full training but unlikely to play, while Leroy Sane is a long-term absentee.

    Injury-hit Crystal Palace are without Luka Milivojevic, who is serving the second of a three-match suspension.

    Defender Joel Ward is available after a knee injury but midfielder Max Meyer is out with an ankle injury suffered in last weekend’s draw at Arsenal.

  19. Early team news

    Brighton v Aston Villa (15:00 GMT)

    Brighton’s Aaron Mooy has recovered from the knee problem that caused him to miss last week’s defeat at Everton.

    Shane Duffy, Adam Webster and Alireza Jahanbakhsh have overcome minor issues.

    Former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina is poised to make his first Premier League appearance since May 2013 after joining Aston Villa on loan.

    Matt Targett and Bjorn Engels should be fit to return but Jonathan Kodjia is in talks about a move elsewhere and will not be involved.

  20. Early team news

    Arsenal v Sheffield United (15:00 GMT)

    Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang begins a three-match suspension on Saturday.

    Sead Kolasinac and Lucas Torreira have been unable to train properly because of minor injuries and they will both be assessed.

    Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has reported no fresh fitness concerns ahead of the match.

    Reserve goalkeepers Michael Verrips and Simon Moore could be available after injuries.

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