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Timothy Masters

FK Krasnodar v Everton, 17:00

While other English sides disappointed somewhat on match day one, Everton had a great result and currently sit atop Europa League Group H with Lille and Wolfsburg trailing in their wake, something Roberto Martinez probably feels very proud of at this point in time. A late wondergoal bailed them out against Liverpool on the weekend, and the manager may need to freshen the team up after his charges went for ninety-plus minutes first in an attempt to keep Liverpool out and then to equalise. Krasnodar managed a creditable draw with the French team on match day one, and will welcome Everton with every intent of adding to their tally of points.

Everton will be without midfielders James McCarthy and Kevin Mirallas through injury, while Seamus Coleman and Steven Pienaar have not travelled either, which could mean a start for Christian Atsu.

Spurs v Besiktas, 20:05

Having seen their rivals across north London take Galatasaray apart last night, Spurs will be keen to show their own class against a Turkish side that are almost as dangerous, and one that should be able to pose a threat to a weakened Spurs team with the home manager set to rotate a bit. One point was hardly the return they wanted from the opening game and this might end up being the decider for top spot in Europa League Group C, so you’d hope that a good performance from a second string player this evening would be enough to catapult them into the Premier League outfit proper.

Tottenham defender Danny Rose is a doubt for this one, and Kyle Walker definitely won’t feature, while Emmanuel Adebayor could be rested in favour of Harry Kane in attack.

Basel v Liverpool, 19:45
After match day one saw Liverpool as the only English side to get a win you’d think optimism would be the order of the day, but those who witnessed or endured the Ludogrets game will tell you otherwise. The Bulgarians came to Anfield and did their usual thing, nothing out of the ordinary, yet they nearly went home with a point against a far richer side from a far bigger league, and that wouldn’t have been undeserved. Basel are a much better team than that, and if Brendan Rodgers wants a win tonight he needs more of the Spurs game and less of Ludogrets.
Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge and centre-back Mamadou Sakho have not made the squad for their Champions League Group B game, with the Frenchman apparently hurt in training.

Arsenal v Galatasaray, 19:45
Week one was a disappointing experience for the Gunners, who went to Dortmund with high hopes and came back with their tails between their legs after a 2-0 defeat, but this is a far better opportunity for them to get off the mark in the group. Turkish football fluctuates but their ability to get away wins in Europe tends to be fairly consistently poor, especially versus the bigger sides and if Wenger doesn’t see a victory this evening the Frenchman will certainly be cross to say the least.
Jack Wilshere is in Arsenal’s squad for Wednesday’s Champions League Group D match against Galatasaray but Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby won’t feature. Theo Walcott, Serge Gnabry, Nacho Monreal, Yaya Sanogo, Mathieu Debuchy and Olivier Giroud (fractured foot) are all out, which adds pressure to an already important match.

Manchester City v Roma, 19:45
Losing to Bayern Munich is hardly uncommon, and when City did that in their first group match a fair few people internally wrote them off as ‘still not ready’ for Champions League glory. However, Bayern are something of a freak team and many good sides will lose to them, where Roma are exactly the kind of team City need to be able to beat, when at home at least, if they want to be regulars in the next round of this competition.
Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart will return to the side for Tuesday’s game after sitting out the 4-2 victory at Hull City in favour of Willy Caballero, and although Fernando is still out Stevan Jovetic is back and available. Roma have a growing list of injured players, with Juan Iturbe, Davide Astori, Leandro Castan, Kevin Strootman, Federico Balzaretti and Marco Borriello all out of action and Daniele De Rossi adding his name to that list a week ago.

Sporting v Chelsea, 19:45
Chelsea look pretty good right now, and the only thing you’d say is a weakness for the Blues is the lack of a backup striker in their squad, although even that is an improvement on last year when they only had backups. Diego Costa’s hamstring will probably be a factor in deciding Jose Mourinho’s team selection as the Spaniard is both brilliant and brittle right now, while the home side are likely to give a very hostile reception to former Porto boss and general footballing loudmouth Mourinho, which could inspire their team.
There is a degree of British interest on both sides, as the only Scot in the competition is Ryan Gauld of Sporting, and Chelsea have a couple of Brits too. The likes of Nani, Diego Capel and William Carvalho are all interesting to a wider audience and the latter may be watched by scouts too, while Chelsea are basically ok save the absence of Ramires with a minor muscle problem.

West Brom v Burnley, 16:00
These two are either side of the dotted line of despair, or the relegation cut-off as it’s known amongst the better writers operating today, and with Burnley having played a game more than the Baggies it’s a match that has the potential to put the away team in a tough spot in the run-up to Christmas and beyond. The league looks pretty tight at the moment with teams from the lower classes taking points off the bigger boys, and a run of a few good games could be enough to make a big difference for either side.
West Brom will assess Brown Ideye, but Victor Anichebe is struggling and Chris Baird is doubtful through illness. Burnley’s David Jones has a calf injury and will be assessed, as will Dean Marney and Kieran Trippier, but Danny Ings, Matt Taylor and Sam Vokes are sidelined.

Stoke v Newcastle, 20:00

Both of the managers on show this evening have had their issues with boards and angry fans in the past but at present Mark Hughes is in a slightly rosier garden than Alan Pardew if the papers are to be believed. Whether or not his job rests on this game we may never find out, especially if the away team should get the victory the owner is apparently dead set on seeing, with the Magpies bottom of the league it is easy to see why he could be in hot water at the moment when you consider the players at his disposal.
The Magpies have the most extensive injury list in the table, and when you consider one of the unavailable has cancer in Jonas Gutierrez it’s a tough time for them. The likes of Janmaat, Cisse, Krul and De Jong are all out along with a host of others, and compared to Stoke that’s a bit of a nightmare. John Walters and Peter Odemwingie are key men out for the Potters, but other than that it’s plain sailing for Mark Hughes.

Liverpool v Everton, 12:45
Last season this was one of the big games that went completely to plan for Brendan Rodgers and his Liverpool side, and the loss of one talent up front should not negate the difference in quality totally from the corresponding fixture in the 2013/14 season you’d think. Everton have definitely added to their squad too, but for all the money and time spent trying to improve their prospects the first five games have yielded six and five points respectively for the home and away side, and this is a match both teams are desperate to win for a number of reasons.
Liverpool hope Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho will be fit and Daniel Sturridge may be on the bench, but Joe Allen, Emre Can, Glen Johnson and Jon Flanagan remain out. Everton right-back Seamus Coleman is doubtful while Steven Pienaar’s will also be assessed, but the game comes too soon for Ross Barkley and Arouna Kone.

Chelsea v Aston Villa, 15:00
It’s been a rare good start to the year for Aston Villa, and as a result Chelsea face yet another top 4 tie after their leaders clash with Swansea recently. Villa have picked up a couple of good results, most notably against a Liverpool side who really offered very little to suggest their loss was a shock and playing away from home means they can commit to their counter attack/set pieces game plan that has served them so well up until this point.
Ramires will miss the game with a groin problem suffered against Manchester City. Aston Villa quartet Ashley Westwood, Nathan Baker, Darren Bent and Andreas Weimann have all overcome the sickness that afflicted them last week but Ron Vlaar and Christian Benteke remain out.

Crystal Palace v Leicester, 15:00
Last week Leicester City had the time of their lives against Manchester United, and while it will jar the ears of many to hear the phrase ‘but this game against Palace will be a tougher game’ used in relation to the Red Devils that is probably the reality. None of the complacency and little of the fear that United displayed is likely to infect the Palace team in front of their home fans, and while Leicester may have beaten a £200m+ team last time out they know they are likely to be facing off with Palace at the end of the season to avoid relegation, so this really counts.
Crystal Palace striker Marouane Chamakh is finally available and Neil Warnock reported no fresh fitness concerns. Leicester also have no new injury problems and could name the same side which defeated Manchester United, although Nick Powell is available now.

Hull v Man City, 15:00
After five game Man City are only two points ahead of their hosts for the day, and that is the kind of form that leads to knee-jerk articles in the nationals and questions being asked about the manager at most big clubs. The likes of Gary Neville have obliged with the former already, but the City board have shown themselves to be a good deal more patient than other rich foreign owners and are unlikely to move rashly anytime soon you’d think. Nevertheless, a win today would be great with Chelsea already five points ahead in the table, but Hull are in tenth for a reason, and won’t play along with the plan.
Hull midfielder David Meyler doubtful and Gaston Ramirez is a likely absentee for the Tigers. Manchester City full-back Pablo Zabaleta is available again, but Samir Nasri is sidelined by a groin problem and Stevan Jovetic and Fernando are ruled out by hamstring and groin issues respectively.

Man Utd v West Ham, 15:00
United started their season with matches against Swansea, Sunderland, Burnley, QPR and Leicester, and having taken just a point a game on average from those fixtures it is clear they’ve got some distance left to travel if the club is to be a factor domestically or in Europe anytime soon. West Ham were delighted with their win over Liverpool, and will be hoping the same opportunities comes their way at Old Trafford this weekend as the home team are definitely vulnerable to a sneak attack.
Manchester United have Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans injured and Tyler Blackett suspended, so defensive options are limited. West Ham will be without midfielders Cheikhou Kouyate, Kevin Nolan and Matt Jarvis.

Southampton v QPR, 15:00
Rangers aren’t having a great year, in fact it’s so bad they’re the only team United have beaten until now, but there is still a belief around the club that they’ve got a much better setup than last time they were in this league. Experience counts for a lot if you can put it into practice, and they’ll want the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Joey Barton to deliver on the talk soon, but it may be that the loss of Loic Remy turns out to be the hammer blow to QPR’s survival and goals will be tough to come by today.
Southampton central defenders Toby Alderweireld and Maya Yoshida will be assessed ahead of the visit of QPR, but James Ward-Prowse’s is out for up to 10 weeks. QPR midfielder Sandro is not expected to play, Niko Kranjcar is a doubt and while Joey Barton, Jordon Mutch and Adel Taarabt are all out for sure.

Sunderland v Swansea, 15:00
Four draws and a loss is not the sort of form Sunderland wanted at the start of this season, but they were hampered in the transfer market by some procrastinating players and today should be a chance to recover some of the lost ground as Swansea are probably not as good as their fifth place position suggests. Having taken advantage of some average opposition, the Swans have shown talent and ruthlessness, but their squad depth is an issue and the season will be a continual test for a manager new to the trade in Garry Monk.
Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has confirmed that Will Buckley and Billy Jones will start, and will assess Steven Fletcher, Emanuele Giaccherini and Wes Brown pre-game. Swansea defender Jordi Amat remains but Wilfried Bony is back after serving a one-match suspension.

Arsenal v Spurs, 17:30
A day bookended by derbies sees see the North Londoners provide a fitting close to what might be a very interesting few hours of football in the Barclays Premier League, and you know the noise in the run-up to this will be as good as London hears anytime soon. The Emirates can be something of a gallery rather than the cauldron provided by the Anfield crowd, for example, but when Tottenham are the visitors there is a rare bile and spite that drips from the rafters of this lovely new stadium and infects the players with a sort-of madness.
Arsenal defenders Kieran Gibbs and Per Mertesacker will be available to but Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Mathieu Debuchy remain out for a while. Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino rotated his squad for the midweek win over Nottingham Forest, with Kyle Walker his only absentee.

How much these two sides can afford to dedicate to trying to win the Capital One Cup this season probably depends on the league form they’re able to produce and also the luck of the draw, so getting a Premier League opponent this early might not be the best for their morale if we’re honest. Early signs are that the managers will at least try and put their best eleven out, which will make for a better spectacle for the crowd but the league comes first, as it pays all the bills.

West Brom boss Alan Irvine could give Youssouf Mulumbu a start, and may opt for Victor Anichebe and Brown Ideye up front. Steve Bruce is set to rotate a bit more, although he cannot call upon Gaston Ramirez or Mohamed Diame with both cup-tied.
Although it’s not all-Premier League, the Spurs v Forest tie also promises much at this stage with the former European Champions looking very good under new boss Stuart Pearce and the Tottenham manager having just enough rope to hang himself in terms of squad depth, if we’re honest about his options. The likes of Michel Vorm, Roberto Soldado and Andros Townsend could get a run out, while Pearce is likely to pick the best eleven he can given that he’s missing captain Chris Cohen, Jack Hobbs, Jack Hunt, Andy Reid and Matty Fryatt.

The other really interesting tie is between Alan Pardew’s hot/cold Newcastle United team and Crystal Palace, a side expected to feature in the bottom three of the league who are currently not there. A good result in the league is something the Magpies haven’t seen for a while but they at least managed a spirited draw on the weekend, and will want to show they’re not down and out just yet. Newcastle’s defense will hope Marouane Chamakh isn’t fit in time, and Zeki Fryers could be a part of the Palace team for the first time today. Pardew will have to make do without Tim Krul, Yoan Gouffran and Papiss Cisse due to illness, while Davide Santon, Siem de Jong, Rolando Aarons and Adam Campbell are still out through injury.

The League Cup is a competition the big teams are happy to deride unless they’re in the final and out of the rest of the available cups and leagues, at which point every trophy is a trophy and anyone saying it’s not a big tournament is just bitter, very similar to the FA Cup in fact. At this stage of the season we’re going to see most of the big sides put their B-teams out as they look to secure a safe result without injuries, but a few of the games out of the hat have more than a frisson of challenge about them even for Champions League outfits.

Alphabetically first in England’s Champions League line-up is almost always Arsenal under Arsene Wenger, who is proverbial for rotating at this stage of the cups and is could give a debut to goalkeeper David Ospina. Tomas Rosicky, Joel Campbell and Lukas Podolski are some of the other names who could benefit from the first-team being rested against Southampton, and the news from the South Coast suggests the Saints will be more inclined to use their stars this evening than the Gunners will. Manger Ronald Koeman hopes James Ward-Prowse and Maya Yoshida will be fit, and althoughToby Alderweireld is likely to again miss out with a hamstring strain Sadio Mane is set to make his first appearance since joining in the summer.

Another all Premier League affair takes place between Sunderland and Stoke, and those are two teams expected to struggle this term who would be tempted to say ‘no thanks’ to the cup if it meant compromising their league campaign. Steven Fletcher is likely to miss out for Sunderland, who also have doubts over Emanuele Giaccherini and Ricardo Alvarez and Gus Poyet is expected to rotate with Costel Pantilimon, Billy Jones and Sebastian Coates all in line for starts.
Mark Hughes also has a few to bring in, including Marc Muniesa, Robert Huth and on-loan midfielder Oussama Assaidi.

If any manager is conflicted as to what his options are at this point it wil be Brandan Rodgers, in charge of a stuttering Liverpool team that currently looks like young Bambi. Yes, you can see the beauty and style waiting to break out, but at the moment they’re always a couple of steps from falling on their collective face, and Middlesbrough will fancy exacerbating that problem this evening for them. Rotating in will be Rickie Lambert is poised for his first Liverpool start, alongside a few others no doubt, while for Boro it’s a case of getting the best possible eleven on the pitch, which could make for a tough afternoon or even an early exit for the Premier League team.

Leicester v Man Utd, 13:30
We expected one of these sides to struggle this year, and the other had us all guessing until the opening day and all that has followed. A win over QPR was nice for the Manchester United fans adjusting to life without trophies and they certainly made the most of it on social media and the like, but in reality these games against small teams are expected to end un heavy wins for United as a bare minimum and they need to show more if the Champions League is in their sights this season.
Leicester City pair Kasper Schmeichel and Matty James should be fit,
but Nick Powell is ineligible under the terms of his loan. Luke Shaw could make his Manchester United debut and Radamel Falcao awaits his first start for the Red Devils.

Spurs v West Brom, 13:30
It hasn’t been long, but the season is already showing that West Brom have a real job on if they want to stay in the Barclays Premier League for another season sitting in the bottom three, as they currently do, and a trip to Spurs is far from ideal. Liverpool may have embarrassed Tottenham but the majority of sides going to White Hart Lane struggle and for the Baggies this will most likely be a long and fruitless afternoon unless they can fins some inspiration from somewhere.
Tottenham will assess winger Andros Townsend, and recall several key players including striker Emmanuel Adebayor after they were rested midweek.West Brom boss Alan Irvine has a fully fit squad, with Joleon Lescott and Silvestre Varela set for their debuts.

Everton v Crystal Palace, 16:00
There was a bit of a question mark over how well Everton might do in their midweek European tie, but the game against Wolfsburg ended in an impressive with for the Toffees and now it is back to the grind as they seek to improve in the Premier League. There are a lot of teams struggling to be consistent so far, and Everton have definitely had good and bad moments to date but Palace are not strong and today is a day for the home side to make hay.
Samuel Eto’o could make his first Everton start after impressing in the midweek win over Wolfsburg.
Leighton Baines faces a late fitness test but Sylvain Distin could return after a back issue. Crystal Palace have Marouane Chamakh available, and although Joe Ledley and Wilfried Zaha were both injured against Burnley they will be ready for this one.

Man City v Chelsea, 16:00
The match of the weekend is currently being defined in the national press by Frank Lampard, the link between these two big spenders, but in reality this is a massive test for the home side in terms of their chances of retaining the title they won a few months ago. Chelsea are the best side in the land right now, and if City fall much farther behind in the table than they currently are it won’t matter if they can get back to form, as the gap will be insurmountable soon.
City pair Stevan Jovetic and Fernando remain sidelined, but Pablo Zabaleta is available after a ban in midweek.
Spain international Diego Costa will start for Chelsea, despite a hamstring problem restricting him from playing more than one game a week.

QPR v Stoke, 12:45
There are a number of ways the season can go for QPR, ranging from surprising success to abject failure with all the in between bits also possible, and they’ve started the year in ‘heads above water’ mode. Both Stoke and Rangers are a smidgen above the relegation zone without being anything like safe, and if this doesn’t end in a draw it will make for an uncomfortable few weeks at the very least for the losing manager.
Queens Park Rangers have fitness concerns over Joey Barton,Jordon Mutch and
Adel Taarabt but Eduardo Vargas is available despite a head wound.
Stoke could be without Jonathan Walters and Marko Arnautovic but can call upon Stephen Ireland and Mame Biram Diouf once more.

Aston Villa v Arsenal, 15:00
It seems like Aston Villa veer from being overachievers to abject mediocrity without ever really crossing the centre line itself, and recently the former is definitely a far description of Paul Lambert’s team as well as an explanation for why he’s getting a new contract. Their victory at Anfield was fully deserved last week and Arsenal won’t hold any particular terror for the Villains this afternoon, but playing at home will make it harder for Lambert to implement his ‘possum’ game plan as easily as he does away.
Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar is a major doubt but Joe Cole could be involved, though he is unlikely to start. Arsenal have Mathieu Flamini, Calum Chambers and Jack Wilshere available, but Nacho Monreal is sidelined.

Burnley v Sunderland, 15:00
Another pair of teams without a win to their name or much else to shout about meet here this afternoon with the aim of providing some shouting material for the fans, and just as with QPR and Stoke a win for either manager would be a good boost after a dull beginning. Burnley have a point less than their guests so far, and if they both keep playing so badly this could end up being a big result at the end of the season on the relegation front.
Burnley have Danny Ings and Matt Taylor ruled out, but Nathan Chalobah and Michael Keane could make their debuts. Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has no new injury problems. but could make changes.

Newcastle v Hull, 15:00
Most of the news surrounding Newcastle this week has been about their manager and his hopes of hanging onto the job much longer, with the Geordie faithful set to show their love with a mass protest at the game against their embattled boss, something I’m sure Steve Bruce won’t mind. The Hull boss has actually been linked with this job recently, and if he wins comfortably with his side today might leave with a secret message from the Nwcastle chairman in his breast pocket but for now his focus is getting three points on the road.
Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote is expected to return to the starting line-up, but Rolando Aarons is out until November and the match comes too soon for Papiss Cisse. Hull attackers Stephen Quinn and Tom Ince are fit, but Hatem Ben Arfa can’t play against his parent club.

Swansea v Southampton, 15:00
Third meets fourth in the Barclays Premier League, and not many people expected that after both sides lost key players over the summer, and Southampton also saw their manager depart for White Hart Lane, but right now these two are above likes of Liverpool, City and Arsenal and very much enjoying the 2014/15 season to date. From a form point of view Swansea come in off the back of a heavy loss to Chelsea while Southampton have won their last two, but the Welsh crowd will do their best to make the home side forget their London woes.
Swansea defender Jordi Amat is out so Federico Fernandez is set to make his first start and Wilfried Bony should return to the starting line-up. Southampton signing Sadio Mane will not be ready to play but Shane Long has overcome a head injury.

West Ham v Liverpool, 17:30
Claret and blue left Liverpool and their fans pretty down in the dumps last weekend and the midweek game may have ended in a win, but not much of one if truth be told so the Reds need something tonight to show they are still in this to win it. West Ham have traditionally dealt with the likes of Sturridge, Sterling and Coutinho in roughly the same way Adrian Peterson deals with child discipline, and like all sides playing an Allardyce team Liverpool will have to match their hosts for skill and strength.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has named the and unchanged squad from his side’s game on Monday. Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel returns to fitness, but Daniel Sturridge won’t be back in full training until next week and Jon Flanagan has been ruled out for two months.

Partizan v Spurs, 18:00 (Group C)

Tottenham managers in recent times have taken markedly different views on the Europa League from Harry Redknapp’s ultimate apathy to Andre Villas-Boas and his desire for success in the competition he knows and loves, and this season it looks like their boss would like to have a go at this competition if possible. Partizan away is not a good fixture, not least due to traval and time constraints, but that is the lot of a group stage side and if Spurs can win their first three they’ll be able to rotate down the line.

Mauricio Pochettino must make do without a number of first team player, most Jan Vertonghen and Kyle Walker, but will have faith in his squad and has depth in some positions that should make this a competitive match, and the team was handed a boost with the news that Roberto Soldado is fit enough to feature this evening.

Everton v Wolfsburg, 20:05 (Group H)

An ambitious manager and a record spend over the summer from Everton have the fans in a bit of an optimistic tizzy at Goodison, and tonight they’ll face a Wolfsburg team prepared to burst the blue bubble if given the opportunity. The resources required to be a success at this level are theoretically more than Everton have, but they are a club that perennially over-achieves anyway and tonight is just another fairy story delivered in the face of overwhelmingly unlikely odds.

Sylvan Distin and Samuel Eto’o face late fitness tests for Everton, and could join Steven Pienaar, Ross Barkley, Bryan Oviedo and Arouna Kone in missing this match for Everton, who will feel the pressure with their small squad. Wolfsburg are missing the likes or Ivan Perisic, Christian Trasch and Patrick Ochs, but are a side Everton must respect nonetheless.