Tag Archives: coloccini

Hatem Ben Arfa to return for Newcastle against Sunderland

Ben Arfa could return to bench for Benfica… and is set to take on Sunderland in derby

By
Colin Young

PUBLISHED:

09:30 GMT, 9 April 2013

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UPDATED:

23:04 GMT, 9 April 2013

Newcastle United midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa could make a shock return to the bench for tomorrow's Europa League tie with Benfica.

The France midfielder, who has missed the last month with a recurrence of the hamstring injury which has hampered most of his season, was originally ruled out for the rest of the campaign by manager Alan Pardew.

But Ben Arfa, who suffered the injury in Moscow last month, has given Pardew a welcome boost as the Toon boss contemplates whether to field his strongest side for the European quarter-final, which Portuguese league leaders Benfica lead 3-1 from last week's first leg at the Stadium of Light, or for Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby at St James's Park.

Swagger: Hatem Ben Arfa is Newcastle's most talented player

Swagger: Hatem Ben Arfa is Newcastle's most talented player

Captain Fabricio Coloccini and France
international defender Mathieu Debuchy are also in line for comebacks
from injury in Sunday's North East while Yohan Cabaye, who suffered a
foot injury in Sunday's win over Fulham, is unlikely to be risked
against Benfica so he will be fit to face Sunderland.

Ben Arfa had a short run-out at St
James' on Sunday ahead of the Fulham clash and has made excellent
progress under the watchful eye of Pardew's medical team, and a
consultant from France.

Pardew said: 'He thinks he is now 100
per cent and we are treating him as that. He is running and there could
be a cameo against Sunderland.

'He has a week's work and if he gets through that he could be involved.'

With a sell-out expected at St James'
tomorrow night, the Newcastle boss has warned supporters they will need
to be patient to help the team through a testing night.

Alan Pardew

Paolo Di Canio

Touchline passion: Both Alan Pardew and Paolo Di Canio will be targeting three points on Sunday

Benfica, who lead Porto in their
domestic league, are unbeaten in 30 games but face a Newcastle side who
have not in 13 European home games – 24 if the Intertoto Cup defeat to
Deportivo La Coruna more than 10 years ago is discounted.

Pardew added: 'We just need to get
ourselves in a good position. If we can get a goal with 20 minutes to go
we can do it. That's the agenda for me.

'Our fans need to understand we go
gung-ho for two goals we are just going to get killed. They have real
quality on the break and we have got to be very intelligent and
patient.'

Sunderland head coach Paolo Di Canio
has no fresh injury worries for the weekend, although he must find a
central midfield replacement for Craig Gardner who is suspended after
picking up his 10th booking at Chelsea on Sunday.

The former Birmingham City midfielder blamed former Newcastle striker Demba Ba for his caution.

'It was not a yellow card,' Gardner said of the challenge which many felt could have earned a red.

'He just rolled around and forced the booking.'

Stoke City players play Premier League fantasy football game

REVEALED: The fascinating insight into who the Premier League players rate as Peter Crouch and co pick their fantasy football team at Stoke… but who has splashed the cash on points king Van Persie

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

16:17 GMT, 8 January 2013

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UPDATED:

18:02 GMT, 8 January 2013

It's the time of year when the 20 Barclays Premier League managers start to think about tinkering with their teams in the transfer window.

And around the world, millions of fans with fantasy football teams will log on to do the same.

These two parallel worlds have collided this season after 18 members of the Stoke City squad entered their dream teams in the official Premier League fantasy football game.

Enlarge

Dream teams: The Stoke City squad have their own mini-league on the official Barclays Premier League fantasy football game

Dream teams: The Stoke City squad have their own mini-league on the official Barclays Premier League fantasy football game

Now see fantasy football at Stoke…

Click HERE to view the stars' mini league

Peter Crouch, Asmir Begovic, Jermaine Pennant and Kenwyne Jones are among the Potters stars who have put their judgement and reputations on the line in the club mini-league.

And it's Crouch who has stormed clear at the top of the table, albeit only after he made the heartbreaking decision to drop himself from his 'Longpins Longballers' XI.

The switch came at the end of November, after the lanky striker lost two teeth in a mid-air collision with Newcastle's Fabricio Coloccini.

The former England frontman clearly didn't have much faith in his powers of recovery and hauled himself out of his fantasy team.

But the tough decision has paid off, as his introduction of Demba Ba and Jermain Defoe to accompany Robin van Persie in a three-pronged attack has enabled him to surge to the top of the 'SCFC Fantasy League' in recent weeks.

Good move: When Peter Crouch (above) suffered a mouth injury in November, he removed himself from his fantasy football team and installed the more prolific Demba Ba (below left) and Jermain Defoe

Good move: When Peter Crouch (above) suffered a mouth injury in November, he removed himself from his fantasy football team and installed the more prolific Demba Ba (below left) and Jermain Defoe

Demba Ba of Chelsea

Jermain Defoe of Tottenham Hotspur

He currently enjoys a healthy 54 point advantage over Ryan Shotton and his 'FC Shottinho' side.

Shotton has been rewarded by his faith in teammate Jones, who scored three goals over the Christmas period to help Stoke into the top half of the real-life standings.

The free-scoring Van Persie is a staple in all the Stoke players' teams – as he is in thousands up and down the country after his phenomenal start to life at Manchester United.

There is also extraordinary loyalty towards teammate Asmir Begovic and this is well placed as he's won each of them 93 points so far this season on the game.

Points mean prizes: The Stoke squad's faith in their own keeper Asmir Begovic has earned them plenty of points in the fantasy game

Points mean prizes: The Stoke squad's faith in their own keeper Asmir Begovic has earned them plenty of points in the fantasy game

Languishing in the wooden spoon position at the moment is Dean Whitehead, his last place making a mockery of his 'no.1 seed' team name.

And this despite his XI currently featuring Van Persie, Fernando Torres, Santi Cazorla and Juan Mata, some of the Premier League's most in-form players.

His biggest mistake came, perhaps, in removing Liverpool red hot striker Luis Suarez just before a spell in which he has scored five goals in three league games.

Basement battle: Dean Whitehead is currently bottom of the Stoke mini-league

Basement battle: Dean Whitehead is currently bottom of the Stoke mini-league

Astonishingly, out-on-loan Pennant, who opted for a rude name for his team, hasn't cashed in on the lottery of points Van Persie offers, refusing to bring the Dutchman in at any point so far this season.

The ultimate guide to ALL of this weekend"s FA Cup third round fixtures

The ultimate guide to ALL of this weekend's FA Cup third round fixtures

PUBLISHED:

10:09 GMT, 4 January 2013

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UPDATED:

13:58 GMT, 4 January 2013

It may only be the start of January but the weekend of the FA Cup third round remains one of the most famous occasions in the football calendar.

The world’s oldest football competition often offers lowly minnows a chance to fight with some of the biggest teams in the game and this weekend is no different with a number of eye-catching ties.

With 32 matches to be played, Sportsmail has teamed up with statistic giants Opta to bring you the ultimate guide to all of this weekend’s fixtures.

Road to Wembley: The FA Cup third round sees teams from the Premier League and the Championship enter the competition

Road to Wembley: The FA Cup third round sees teams from the Premier League and the Championship enter the competition

Brighton v Newcastle (Saturday 12.30pm – live on ITV1)
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will be
without Papiss Cisse and Fabricio Coloccini for tomorrow's clash with Brighton after both picked up slight knocks.

Midfielder Cheick Tiote is also unavailable, as the Ivory Coast international left for
the African Nations Cup after Wednesday night's 2-1 Barclays Premier
League defeat by Everton. Potential replacement Gael Bigirimana is
battling a dead leg.

Striker Demba Ba's transfer to
Chelsea has left a vacancy in attack, and while central defender Steven
Taylor (hamstring) and midfielder Yohan Cabaye (groin) are back in
training, they remain unavailable.

Full-back Ryan Taylor
(knee) and midfielders Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring), Jonas Gutierrez, Dan
Gosling and Haris Vuckic (all knee) are also out.

Brighton may be tempted to start Kazenga Lua Lua for the third consecutive game against his former club.

The winger spent five years at St James' Park before leaving in November 2011 having made 15 appearances.

Will Buckley's deflected strike
helped the Seagulls to a win against Newcastle last season in the FA
Cup, but the winger is likely to be ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Will history repeat Will Buckley celebrates Mike Williamson's own goal that helped Brighton defeat Newcastle 1-0 in the FA Cup fourth round last season

Will history repeat Will Buckley celebrates Mike Williamson's own goal that helped Brighton defeat Newcastle 1-0 in the FA Cup fourth round last season

Brighton and Newcastle have met four times before in the FA Cup; the Magpies progressed in the first meeting in 1930, but the Seagulls have since won the last three ties including in Round 4 last season.

Brighton have won three of their last five FA Cup games against higher-ranked sides, including that victory over the Magpies last term.

The Seagulls have only lost one of their last 12 FA Cup games on home soil, and have not been eliminated from the competition at home since 2008.

Newcastle have not won an away game in the FA Cup since January 2006, when they won 2-0 at fourth tier Cheltenham Town.

Newcastle squad: Krul, Elliot, Harper, Santon, Ferguson, Tavernier, Williamson, Perch, Streete, Bigirimana, Anita, Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Obertan, Abeid, Shola Ameobi, Ranger.

Aldershot v Rotherham (Saturday, 3pm)
Aldershot Town have met Rotherham once before in the FA Cup since their reformation in 1992, winning 3-0 away from home in a replay after a 1-1 draw in Round 1 of the 2009 competition.

Rotherham have not made the fourth round of the FA Cup since 2002, when they eliminated top-flight Southampton at this stage before losing to Crewe.

This is Aldershot’s first appearance in Round 3 since 2007; the Shots have not made the fourth round since 1987, when they lost to Barnsley.

Aldershot have won their last three home games in this competition, and have only lost one of their last eight.

Aston Villa v Ipswich (Saturday, 3pm)
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is
hoping to have a trio of players – including Darren Bent – back in
contention for tomorrow's FA Cup third-round clash with Ipswich.

Bent (hamstring), fellow striker Gabriel Agbonlahor (thigh) and winger
Charles N'Zogbia (knee) are all poised to return to training today and
will then be assessed by Lambert.

Midfielder Ashley Westwood has been ruled out after suffering an ankle
injury during the 2-2 draw at Swansea. Defenders Ron Vlaar (calf),
Nathan Baker (hamstring) and Richard Dunne (knee) remain sidelined.

Back in business: Villa striker Darren Bent could return to face his former side, Ipswich at Villa Park

Back in business: Villa striker Darren Bent could return to face his former side, Ipswich at Villa Park

Mick McCarthy has just 16 players
with significant Championship experience to call upon tomorrow when his
side travel to Villa.

The likes of Stephen Henderson,
Bradley Orr (ineligible due to loans), Tyrone Mings (cup-tied) and Andy
Drury (illness) are unavailable, while Danny Higginbotham and DJ
Campbell have seen their loan deals expire.

In addition, McCarthy wants to rest a
number of his players who have featured during a spell of
four games in 11 over the Christmas period.

Patrick Kisnorbo is available for the Tractor Boys though, with the defender having completed his one-month loan deal from Leeds on Thursday.

Villa and Ipswich have met four times
before in the FA Cup, winning two ties apiece with the Villans winning
the last clash back in 1996.

Aston Villa have won their last five FA Cup games at Villa Park, scoring exactly three times in each one.

The Midlands side have progressed through each of their last nine ties against lower ranked sides, with Sheffield United the last to eliminated them back in 2005.

Ipswich have lost their last 10 FA Cup games against teams from a higher division, and have only won one of their last 25 (23 ties).

Aston Villa squad: Guzan, Given, Lowton, Herd, Clark, Lichaj, Stevens,
Bennett, Ireland, N'Zogbia, Bannan, Delph, Albrighton, Holman, Benteke,
Bent, Agbonlahor, Bowery, Weimann, Burke, Johnson, Williams, Carruthers.

Barnsley v Burnley (Saturday, 3pm)
This will be the first FA Cup meeting between Barnsley and Burnley since 1911, when the Clarets won a Round 2 match 2-0 on home soil.

Barnsley have lost their last four FA Cup round 3 games and haven’t picked up a victory since their run to the semi-finals back in 2008.

Burnley have only won one of their last 11 away FA Cup games, conceding nine in total in their last two.

The Clarets have only mustered one clean sheet in their last 15 outings in the FA Cup (conceding 30 in total).

Macclesfield v Cardiff (Saturday, 3pm)
This will be the first meeting between these sides in the FA Cup, though their most recent meeting came in the League Cup in 2005, when the Welsh side prevailed 2-1.

Cardiff have won 11 and drawn three of their last of their last 14 FA Cup games against lower ranked sides, and have not lost against a team from a lower league since 1995, when they eliminated by Enfield.

After three away wins on the way to the final in 2008, Cardiff have failed to win any of their ensuing five on the road in the FA Cup, drawing two and losing three.

The Silkmen have only lost one of their last 11 on home soil in the FA Cup proper, and that was against Everton in 2009.

Blackburn v Bristol City (Saturday, 3pm)
This will only be the second FA Cup meeting between Blackburn and Bristol City; the Robins won the first back at this stage of the 1951 competition (2-1).

Rovers have won 12 and lost just one of their last 16 FA Cup games at Ewood Park, scoring at least once in each of their last 14.

The Robins have only made it past the third round once in the last 10 years, reaching Round 4 back in 2007.

City have only scored one goal in their last six FA Cup games combined.

Bolton v Sunderland (Saturday, 3pm)
Bolton have won just one of their six previous FA Cup ties against Sunderland, with that win coming at this stage of the 1980 competition.

Interestingly, five of the previous six FA Cup ties between the Trotters and the Black Cats have come in Round 3, with Sunderland winning the last 2-1 in 2009.

This will be Bolton’s first FA Cup game against a team from a higher division since the 2000 Final against Aston Villa, where they lost on penalties after a 0-0 draw.

The Black Cats are unbeaten in three FA Cup away games after a run of five consecutive defeats on the road between 2005 and 2010.

Charlton v Huddersfield (Saturday, 3pm)
Charlton defender Leon Cort (hamstring) and full-back Lawrie Wilson (broken nose) are major doubts for the clash against Huddersfield.

The Addicks are also without loanees Dan Seabourne, Rob Hulse and Emmanuel Frimpong who have returned to their clubs.

Jermaine Beckford is available again for Huddersfield after the striker was ineligible for the 6-1 loss at parent club Leicester.

Beckford has scored six goals in his last four FA Cup appearances.

Winger Adam Hammill has not been given permission to play by his club Wolves, but James Vaughan is available.

Charlton and Huddersfield have an equal head-to-head record in the FA Cup; Huddersfield eliminated Charlton from the 1926 competition before the Addicks got revenge in 1958 after a replay.

The Addicks have only lost one of their last 12 FA Cup games at the Valley, winning seven and drawing four.

Huddersfield have scored exactly once in 14 of their last 19 FA Cup away games, though they have netted more than once on only one occasion in this run.

The Terriers are without a win in 10 games in all competitions, drawing five and losing five.

Crawley v Reading (Saturday, 3pm)
Reading manager Brian McDermott has
indicated that new signing Daniel Carrico is unlikely to make his debut
in tomorrow's FA Cup tie against Crawley.

Jason Roberts has returned to training after recovering from a hip problem while Nicky Shorey has overcome a virus.

McDermott is likely to make several changes after playing three Barclays Premier League matches in a week.

On the mend: Jason Roberts (left) is pushing for his first Reading appearance in over a month ahead of the Royal's trip to Crawley

On the mend: Jason Roberts (left) is pushing for his first Reading appearance in over a month ahead of the Royal's trip to Crawley

This will be the first competitive meeting between Crawley and Reading.

Crawley Town have lost both of their previous FA Cup meetings with top flight opponents.

Reading
have won four of their last five FA Cup ties against sides from lower
divisions. However, they were eliminated in the third round last season
by third-tier Stevenage.

The Red Devils have won four and lost just one of their last six home games in the FA Cup.

Reading squad:
Federici, Taylor, Gunter, Cummings, Gorkss, Pearce, Morrison, Mariappa,
Shorey, Harte, McAnuff, Tabb, Karacan, Kebe, McCleary, Robson-Kanu, Le
Fondre, Hunt, Roberts, Pogrebnyak.

Crystal Palace v Stoke (Saturday, 3pm)
Stoke boss Tony Pulis will make changes
for tomorrow's FA Cup third-round clash with Crystal Palace, which could
include a first start in the club's colours for Michael Owen.

The former England striker has made four
substitute appearances since joining the Potters in September, the last
coming in October before he suffered a hamstring injury.

Midfielder Steven Nzonzi is available
after the red card he received in last weekend's 3-3 draw with
Southampton was rescinded while full-back Marc Wilson could return in a
fortnight from a broken leg.

False start: Michael Owen's Stoke career has been ravaged by injury

False start: Michael Owen's Stoke career has been ravaged by injury

The one previous FA Cup clash between the Eagles and the Potters saw Stoke claim a 1-0 home win in Round 3 in 1989.

Crystal Palace have won just one of their last six FA Cup games, including suffering defeat in each of the last three.

After progressing beyond the third round just once from 1995-2005, Stoke City have gone beyond this stage five times in the last seven years.

The Potters have conceded just three goals in their last six away matches in the FA Cup, keeping four clean sheets in that time.

Provisional squad: Begovic, Shotton, Shawcross, Cameron, Huth, Upson, Wilkinson, Whelan, Nzonzi, Walters, Kightly, Etherington, Jones, Sorensen, Whitehead, Crouch, Jerome, Adam, Palacios, Owen.

Derby v Tranmere (Saturday, 3pm)
The last nine meetings between Derby and Tranmere, all in the Football League, have seen 44 goals scored – an average of 4.89 per game.

Derby County have managed just nine goals in their last nine home games in the FA Cup, scoring exactly one goal on seven occasions.

Rovers have kept just one clean sheet in their last eight FA Cup clashes with opponents from higher divisions.

The Rams have won just one of their last seven FA Cup matches (W1 D4 L2) against teams from lower divisions.

Fulham v Blackpool (Saturday, 3pm)
Martin Jol plans to
name a strong Fulham line-up in tomorrow's FA Cup third-round tie with
Blackpool, but will have to do without several key players.

Mladen Petric, Damien Duff and Mahamadou Diarra are still injured so will be unable to feature for the west Londoners.

Mark Schwarzer is also sidelined due to a neck problem, while Stephen Kelly (knee) and John Arne Riise (shin) are also missing.

Hitman: Fulham boss, Martin Jol hinted he plans to unleash top scorer Dimitar Berbatov against Championship side Blackpool

Hitman: Fulham boss, Martin Jol hinted he plans to unleash top scorer Dimitar Berbatov against Championship side Blackpool

After winning their first ever FA Cup tie against Blackpool in 1936, the Whites have lost their ensuing three against the Tangerines, with the latest coming back in 1957.

Fulham have lost just three of one last 15 matches in the FA Cup third round (W9 D5 L1). They have won their last four in a row.

Blackpool have progressed past the third round just twice in their last 13 appearances at this stage of the FA Cup.

The Whites have kept five clean sheets in their last seven home games in the FA Cup.

Fulham squad: Stockdale, Somogyi, Etheridge, Riether, Hangeland, Hughes, Senderos, Briggs, Dejagah, Baird, Sidwell, Karagounis, Kacaniklic, Frei, Richardson, Kasami, Ruiz, Rodallega, Berbatov.

Hull v Leyton Orient (Saturday, 3pm)
Hull and Leyton Orient have met once before in the FA Cup, at this stage of the 1963 competition; The O’s progressed after a replay thanks to a 2-0 away win.

Hull City have won five and lost one of their last six FA Cup ties with lower-league opposition.

Leyton Orient have won seven and lost just two of their last 12 games in the FA Cup.

The O’s have progressed on three of the last four occasions they have reached the FA Cup third round.

Leeds United v Birmingham (Saturday, 3pm)
This will be the fifth FA Cup meeting between Leeds and Birmingham; Leeds have won three of the previous four, including the 1972 semi-final, but did lose the last clash (0-3 in 2005).

Birmingham have already won at Elland Road this season in the league. Leroy Lita scored the only game of the game back in October.

Birmingham have lost five and won just one of their last six FA Cup clashes with sides in the same division.

Since beating Manchester United 1-0 at this stage of the competition in 2010, Leeds have won none of their FA Cup games (D2 L3).

Leicester v Burton Albion (Saturday, 3pm)
Both previous clashes (all competitions) between these midlands rivals have been won by the away team, with the Foxes winning the one FA Cup clash 1-0 in 1985.

The Brewers have already eliminated Leicester from the Capital One Cup this term, winning 4-2 at the King Power Stadium back in August.

Burton Albion have won two and lost five of their last nine FA Cup clashes with teams from higher divisions.

The Foxes have progressed in each of their last five FA Cup ties against lower league opposition, conceding just four goals in six games.

Luton v Wolves (Saturday, 3pm)
Wolves have won both of their previous two FA Cup ties against Luton, winning 2-1 in Round 3 in 1932 and 4-1 in Round 5 in 1960.

Wolves have won both of their FA Cup matches against non-league opponents since November 1986 when they were eliminated by Chorley thanks to a second replay.

Luton have won just three of their last 14 games against teams from a higher division in the FA Cup (W3 D4 L7).

Both teams have scored in six of Luton’s last eight home FA Cup games; with 31 goals being scored in those eight matches.

Manchester City v Watford (Saturday, 3pm)
Manchester City
striker Sergio Aguero (hamstring) will miss this weekend's FA Cup
third-round tie against Watford but controversial forward Mario Balotelli is available after recovering from a virus.

Manager Roberto Mancini, who has been pictured grappling with Balotelli
in a training-ground bust-up, has said the 22-year-old could be on the
bench but forward Samir Nasri is suspended and Yaya Toure, Kolo Toure
and Abdul Razak are on international duty.

Defenders Aleksandar Kolarov and Maicon (both knee) are not yet ready to
return while right-back Micah Richards (knee) and midfielder Jack
Rodwell (hamstring) are longer-term casualties.

Water under the bridge: Despite being involved in a training ground bust-up on Thursday, Mario Balotelli is set to be included in the Manchester City squad

Water under the bridge: Despite being involved in a training ground bust-up on Thursday, Mario Balotelli is set to be included in the Manchester City squad

The Citizens and the Hornets have met twice before in the FA Cup; Watford progressed after two replays in 1986 while City won a fourth round game 4-1 at home back in 1997.

Manchester City have won 13 and lost just two of their last 19 FA Cup clashes with sides from the second tier of English football.

Matej Vydra has scored four goals in his last two starts for Watford in all competitions.

Yaya Toure has scored three goals in his last four FA Cup appearances, including the winner in 2011 FA Cup final.

Manchester City squad: Hart, Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Lescott, Kompany,
Nastasic, Clichy, Rekik, Milner, Sinclair, Barry, Garcia, Silva, Tevez,
Dzeko, Balotelli, Evans, Suarez.

Middlesbrough v Hastings Utd (Saturday, 3pm)
Hastings keeper Matt Armstrong-Ford, who has been struggling with a persistent knee problem, is a doubt for the FA Cup clash at Middlesbrough.

Player-manager, Sean Ray has turned his attention to bringing in Jak Alnwick on loan from Newcastle as a replacement.

Otherwise, Ray has no other fitness concerns heading into the game.

Hastings United are making their third appearance in the FA Cup third round but are yet to make it to the next stage; they lost 0-3 to Norwich in a replay in 1954 and 1-2 against Sheffield Wednesday in 1955.

Hastings have never kept a clean sheet against a league side in the FA Cup.

Middlesbrough have not lost to non-league opposition in the FA Cup since February 1912 when they were beaten by West Ham United. In that time, they have won 12 matches and drawn six.

Boro have won three and lost three of their last six home games in the FA Cup.

Millwall v Preston (Saturday, 3pm)
Milwall and Preston have met twice before in the FA Cup, but not since 1948. Preston won that third round tie 2-1 after the Lions had won in Round 2 in the 1903 competition.

The Lions have won their last 12 clashes against opponents from lower divisions, although the last two have gone to replays.

Preston have won three of their last four away games in the FA Cup.
Darius Henderson has struck four times in his last three FA Cup games for Millwall.

Nottingham Forest v Oldham (Saturday, 3pm)
Oldham won their one previous FA Cup clash with Forest 5-1 back in 1913, only in four different FA Cup games have the Latics scored more goals.

Nottingham Forest haven’t scored against Olham in any of their last five meetings in all competitions.

Oldham have won four and lost just one of their last six FA Cup matches.

Three of Forest’s last five FA Cup ties have gone to replays, winning one and losing one of the other two.

Oxford Utd v Sheff Utd (Saturday, 3pm)
Oxford United and Sheffield United are meeting for the second successive FA Cup competition; last season, the Blades won 3-0 on home soil in Round 1.

Oxford have won just one of their last seven FA Cup clashes against teams from higher divisions (W1 D1 L5).

Sheffield United have won their last six games in the FA Cup when the higher ranked team.

The Blades have kept just one clean sheet in their last 15 FA Cup matches.

Back between the sticks: Declan Rudd is poised to make just his second Norwich appearance this season

Back between the sticks: Declan Rudd is poised to make just his second Norwich appearance this season

Peterborough v Norwich (Saturday, 3pm)
Declan Rudd is set to get his chance in goal as Norwich manager Chris Hughton prepares to ring the changes in the FA Cup third-round tie with Peterborough.

Norwich are without injured strikers Grant Holt (hamstring) and Steve Morison (thigh), plus defender Steven Whittaker (hip).

Midfielder Andrew Surman (knee) is back training but unlikely to feature, while Jonny Howson has recovered from a knock suffered against West Ham.

Elliott Ward, Simon Lappin and Jacob Butterfield have all returned from loan spells.

These sides have only met in the League Cup in 1986, when the Canaries advanced in a tight two-legged tie.

Posh have won two and lost four of their last eight FA Cup games.
The Canaries have kept just one clean sheet in their last 18 FA Cup games.

Norwich squad:
Rudd, R Martin, Bassong, Barnett, Garrido, Howson, Snodgrass, Johnson, E
Bennett, Kane, Bunn, Turner, Jackson, Pilkington, Hoolahan, Fox,
Tierney, Tettey, R Bennett, Ward, Lappin, Smith, Butterfield, Steer.

QPR v West Brom (Saturday, 3pm)
QPR striker DJ Campbell has returned from his loan spell at Ipswich and will feature in tomorrow's FA Cup tie against West Brom.

Midfielder Samba Diakite has departed for African Nations Cup duty with Mali and forward Junior Hoilett is out with a hamstring problem.

Strikers Andrew Johnson (knee) and Bobby Zamora (hip) are sidelined with long-term injuries.

Rare sight: DJ Campbell has scored just one goal since joining QPR from Blackpool in the summer of 2011

Rare sight: DJ Campbell has scored just one goal since joining QPR from Blackpool in the summer of 2011

West Brom head coach Steve Clarke will
check on the fitness of five players ahead of the Loftus Road trip.

Clarke confirmed defenders Jonas Olsson (groin), Steven Reid (ankle) and
Goran Popov (hamstring) plus midfielder Claudio Yacob (hamstring) are
again ruled out.

But he said five other unnamed players were rated doubtful. Midfielder
Youssouf Mulumbu will play his final game before linking up with DR
Congo for the African Nations Cup.

QPR and West Brom have an even head-to-head in the FA Cup; the R’s won a semi-final clash in 1982 before the Baggies won a third round game a year later.

QPR have won none of their last 13 matches in the FA Cup third round (excluding replays) (W0 D8 L5).

When drawn against teams from the same division in the FA Cup, QPR have been eliminated on each of the last nine occasions.

West Brom have won six and lost just two of their last 11 away matches in the FA Cup.

QPR squad: Green, Cesar, Murphy,
Cerny, Onuoha, Hill, Nelsen, Ferdinand, Mbia, Park, Fabio, Traore,
Derry, Granero, Taarabt, Faurlin, Wright-Phillips, Ephraim, Mackie,
Cisse, Campbell.

West Brom squad: Foster, Myhill, Daniels, Jones, Jara Reyes, McAuley, Tamas, Dawson, Ridgewell, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Thorne, Brunt, Morrison, Gera, Odemwingie, Fortune, Long, Lukaku, Rosenberg, El Ghanassy.

Sheff Wed v MK Dons (Saturday, 3pm)
Both sides have found the net in all six previous clashes between Sheffield Wednesday and MK Dons.

MK Dons have never beaten Sheffield Wednesday in all competitions (D4 L2).

Sheffield Wednesday have won their last five FA Cup matches against lower league opposition, scoring 15 goals along the way.

The Owls have reached the Fourth Round of the FA Cup in the last two years, after failing to get beyond the Third Round at any time from 2002-2010.

Southampton v Chelsea (Saturday, 3pm)
Adam Lallana will again miss out when Southampton face Chelsea in the FA Cup tomorrow.

The Saints captain is unavailable for the third-round tie with a knee injury, although right-back Nathaniel Clyne could feature at St Mary's after a knee complaint of his own.

Gaston Ramirez is available to feature despite sustaining a dead leg against Arsenal on New Year's Day.

Zambia international Emmanuel Mayuka leaves for the African Nations Cup after the game.

Three of the four previous FA Cup clashes between the Saints and the Blues have gone to a replay, with Southampton winning all four ties including a Round 3 victory in 1981.

Southampton have lost 14 of their last 18 FA Cup matches against sides in the top flight.

Juan Mata scored four and assisted four goals for Chelsea in the FA Cup last year (from seven appearances).

Frank Lampard has been involved in nine goals (scored five, assisted four) in his last eight FA Cup appearances for Chelsea.

Southampton squad: K Davis, Gazzaniga,
Boruc, Richardson, 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.

Southend v Brentford (Saturday, 3pm)
The one previous FA Cup clash between the Shrimpers and the Bees came back in 1929, when Southend won a first round game 1-0 on home soil.

Southend have already eliminated Brentford from the JP Trophy this season; winning 2-1 on December 4th 2012.

Five of Southend’s last seven FA Cup ties have gone to a replay.
Brentford have conceded just two goals in their last three FA Cup games away from home.

Long time coming: Benoit Assou-Ekotto hasn't featured for Tottenham since the start of September

Long time coming: Benoit Assou-Ekotto hasn't featured for Tottenham since the start of September

Tottenham v Coventry (Saturday, 3pm)
Left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto has
overcome his knee injury and looks set to make his first Tottenham
appearance in four months tomorrow against Coventry in the FA Cup.

Midfielder Scott Parker is likely to
make his first start of the season and goalkeeper Brad Friedel could
play as manager Andre Villas-Boas looks to rotate his squad following a
tiring festive period.

Winger Gareth Bale is available
following his one-match suspension but defender William Gallas (calf) is
unlikely to feature and Younes Kaboul is out until mid-to-late February
with his knee problem.

This will only be the second FA Cup meeting between Tottenham and Coventry since the famous 1987 Final, when Gary Mabbutt’s own goal earned the Sky Blues a dramatic extra-time win.

Spurs have won both of the other FA Cup ties between these sides, winning 3-1 in 1981 and 2-0 in 2002.

Coventry City have lost eight and won just two of their 13 clashes with top flight sides in the FA Cup.

Jermain Defoe has scored five times in his last six starts in the FA Cup.

Tottenham squad: Lloris, Friedel, Gomes,
Walker, Naughton, Dawson, Vertonghen, Caulker, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto,
Lennon, Sigurdsson, Falque, Townsend, Livermore, Carroll, Mason,
Huddlestone, Parker, Sandro, Dembele, Bale, Defoe, Adebayor.

Wigan v Bournemouth (Saturday, 3pm)
Bournemouth have
little to worry about on the injury front ahead of their trip to Wigan.

The only real selection
dilemma for boss Eddie Howe is which goalkeeper he will select.

Former Peterborough keeper Shwan Jalal played in their victories over
Dagenham and Carlisle in the earlier rounds, but has played second
fiddle to the Cherries' current number one David James in the League.

The one previous FA Cup game between Wigan and Bournemouth was at this stage of the 1986 competition and ended 3-0 to the Latics.

Bournemouth have qualified for the fourth round on three of the last four occasions that they have reached this stage of the competition. However, this is their first appearance in the Third Round since 2005.

Wigan haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last six games against lower league opposition in the FA Cup.

Matt Tubbs has scored five goals in his last three FA Cup appearances.

West Ham v Man Utd (Saturday, 5.15pm – live on ITV1)
Sam Allardyce could be tempted to start Joe Cole for
tomorrow's FA Cup third-round tie against Manchester United at Upton
Park after the midfielder rejoined West Ham from Liverpool on a free transfer on Friday.

Captain Kevin
Nolan and defender James Collins are back from a one-match suspension.

Defender Joey O'Brien is a doubt with a hamstring problem while striker Andy Carroll (knee) and midfielder Mohamed Diame (hamstring) continue their rehabilitation.

Running riot: Ruud van Nistelrooy scores Manchester United's fifth goal in a 6-0 win over West Ham when the sides last met in the FA Cup 10 years ago

Running riot: Ruud van Nistelrooy scores Manchester United's fifth goal in a 6-0 win over West Ham when the sides last met in the FA Cup 10 years ago

Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic are set to bolster Manchester United's defence.

Jones has missed three games with a minor injury while Vidic was rested for the New Year's Day trip to Wigan.

Wayne Rooney (knee) has been ruled out for a further two weeks while Nani (hamstring) will not be considered despite returning to training this morning.

This will be the eighth FA Cup tie between West Ham United and Manchester United, who met in the 1964 semi-finals. West Ham lead the head-to-head 4-3.

The last FA Cup clash between these sides in 2003, however, saw the Red Devils win 6-0 at Old Trafford.

West Ham have won eight and lost just two of their last 13 home games in the FA Cup.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have won four of their last six matches in the FA Cup when away to fellow Premier League teams.

West Ham squad:
Jaaskelainen, Demel, O'Brien, O'Neil, Reid, Tomkins, Vaz Te, Maiga,
Noble, Jarvis, Spence, Joe Cole, Taylor, Collison, Carlton Cole, Lletget, Diarra, Spiegel,
Lee.

Manchester United squad: Lindegaard, De Gea,
Jones, Smalling, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evans, Buttner, Evra, Cleverley,
Giggs, Fletcher, Scholes, Carrick, Kagawa, Young, Hernandez, Welbeck,
Van Persie.

Swansea v Arsenal (Sunday, 1.30pm – live on ESPN)
Arsenal reported no fresh injury problems ahead of Sunday's FA Cup third-round tie at Swansea.

Reserve goalkeeper Vito Mannone has been struggling with a virus, as has midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong, back from his loan spell at Charlton.

Midfielder Abou Diaby (thigh) and defender Andre Santos (stomach muscle) are back in training, but not yet match fit.

This will be the fourth FA Cup tie between Swansea and Arsenal, but the first since 1968.

Swansea won the first meeting between the sides in 1926 but have since lost the last two.

The Jacks have won their last two Premier League matches against Arsenal, 2-0 at the Emirates in December and 3-2 at the Liberty Stadium last January.

In 19 previous FA Cup ties with teams from the same division, Swansea have progressed just four times and on neither occasion in the last three years.

Arsenal haven’t failed to make the Fourth Round of the FA Cup since 1996.

Arsenal Squad: Szczesny, Gibbs,
Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Sagna, Podolski, Cazorla, Wilshere,
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arteta, Walcott, Mannone, Giroud, Ramsey, Gervinho,
Koscielny, Rosicky, Coquelin, Martinez, Arshavin, Jenkinson.

Mansfield v Liverpool (Sunday, 4pm – live on ESPN)
This is only the second time Liverpool and Mansfield have been drawn together in any competition; Liverpool eliminated Mansfield from the 1970/71 League Cup in the other.

Liverpool last faced non-league opposition in this tournament in 2008, when the Reds were forced to come from behind twice in a 5-2 defeat of Havant & Waterlooville.

The Stags have lost just one game in their last 12 in all competitions, winning five and drawing six.

In Daniel Sturridge’s last seven starts in the FA Cup for Chelsea, the forward bagged himself seven goals.

The future: Young Everton prospect, Ross Barkley may be given a chance to impress at Cheltenham

The future: Young Everton prospect, Ross Barkley may be given a chance to impress at Cheltenham

Cheltenham v Everton
(Monday, 7.45pm – live on ESPN)
Everton manager David Moyes will try to
freshen up his side for Monday's FA Cup third-round tie at npower League
Two club Cheltenham.

Left-back Leighton Baines could be in line for a rest as Bryan Oviedo
may be given a run out while midfielders Thomas Hitzlsperger and Ross
Barkley may come into contention for a start.

Forward Kevin Mirallas and defender Seamus Coleman (both hamstring) are
still sidelined, as are Tony Hibbert (calf) and Darron Gibson (thigh).

This will be the first ever competitive meeting between Cheltenham and Everton.

Everton have won three and lost none of their last five FA Cup games on the road.

Cheltenham have progressed just once in their last eight draws against teams from higher divisions; and never against a top flight side (from three ties).

Only once since 1912 have Everton been eliminated by a team from the fourth tier or below. It was by Shrewsbury in 2003 at this stage of the competition.

Everton squad: Howard, Jagielka, Distin, Heitinga, Baines, Oviedo, Naismith, Hitzlsperger, Osman, Pienaar, Fellaini, Jelavic, Mucha, Duffy, Barkley, Neville, Anichebe, Vellios, Francisco.

Arsenal 7 Newcastle 3 – match report: Theo Walcott hat-trick

Arsenal 7 Newcastle 3: Walcott hat-trick settles astonishing game as Gunners star shows his worth up front again

|

UPDATED:

19:46 GMT, 29 December 2012

Theo Walcott gave Arsene Wenger yet another reminder of his goal-scoring talents as he bagged a stunning hat-trick to sink Newcastle in a 10-goal thriller at the Emirates Stadium.

Wenger had talked up Walcott as the next Thierry Henry yesterday, and the England forward – still to pen a new deal with the club – did little to disprove that idea today, scoring three excellent goals and setting up two more to give Arsenal the win that ensures they will end 2012 in fifth place, two points behind Chelsea and three adrift of Tottenham with a match in hand.

Arsenal's record scorer Henry was in the stands watching his beloved former club and he was on his feet after 20 minutes thanks to Walcott's opener – a fine curled finish following an Henry-esque break from the halfway line.

Middle man: Theo Walcott scored a brilliant hat-trick as Arsenal thumped seven past a hapless Newcastle

Middle man: Theo Walcott scored a brilliant hat-trick as Arsenal thumped seven past a hapless Newcastle

MATCH FACTS

ARSENAL: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla (Coquelin 86), Oxlade Chamberlain (Giroud 74), Podolski (Ramsey 82), Walcott. Subs not used: Mannone, Rosicky, Ramsey, Djourou, Coquelin, Gervinho.

Goals: Walcott 20, 73, 90+1 Oxlade-Chamberlain 50, Podolski 64, Giroud 84, 87.

NEWCASTLE: Krul, Simpson (Ferguson 83), Coloccini, Perch, Santon, Obertan, Bigirimana (Shola Ameobi 82), Tiote, Marveaux (Tavernier 89), Ba, Cisse. Subs not used: Harper, Sammy Ameobi, Abeid, Streete.

Goals: Ba 44, 69 Marveaux 59.

Booked: Santon

Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

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Newcastle pulled level through Demba Ba, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored, only for Ba to grab his second to make it 2-2.

Arsenal looked set for a
disappointing draw after Sylvain Marveaux equalised Lukasz Podolski's
header, but Walcott turned on the class to put the Gunners 4-3 up.

The former Southampton man set up
Olivier Giroud twice and added his much-deserved third strike in injury
time with a deft chip over Tim Krul.

Walcott has scored four goals and won
one decisive penalty in the three games he has started up front and he
now has 14 for the season.

There were no early indications that
this would turn out to be a thriller in the opening quarter as both
teams started sluggishly.

Other than a couple of bits of skill from Santi Cazorla, Arsenal started poorly.

Walcott, eager to show he can cut it
as a striker, used his pace to break behind the Newcastle defence, but
Krul rushed off his line to clear.

Newcastle, branded a 'wee club in the
north-east' by Sir Alex Ferguson yesterday, had the best chance of the
opening quarter of an hour through Ba who somehow headed over Marveaux's
corner from eight yards.

The quiet atmosphere inside the
Emirates Stadium lifted after 19 minutes when Podolski slotted Walcott
in behind the Magpies defence and the England man raced through before
caressing the ball past Krul in to the far corner.

Remind you of someone Theo Walcott's first goal was vintage Thierry Henry, shaped into the far corner

Remind you of someone Theo Walcott's first goal was vintage Thierry Henry, shaped into the far corner

Remind you of someone Theo Walcott's first goal was vintage Thierry Henry, shaped into the far corner

Remind you of someone Theo Walcott's first goal was vintage Thierry Henry, shaped into the far corner

The goal was reminiscent of many strikes from Henry and thus brought the Frenchman to his feet in the stands.

Walcott was in the thick of the
action again just before half-time, wriggling free from his marker, but
Krul came off his line to stop the 23-year-old's shot.

Cheick Tiote, who scored the
equaliser in February's 4-4 thriller, almost brought the visitors level
six minutes before the break with a swirling 25-yard drive that Wojciech
Szczesny awkwardly punched away.

Walcott immediately flew up the other
end, but he laid a square pass behind the un-marked Cazorla, rather
than in front of him and Gael Bigirimana cut the danger out.

Arsenal were made to pay for the error just over two minutes from the break.

Bacary Sagna fouled Gabriel Obertan
25 yards out and Ba's resulting set-piece flew off Jack Wilshere's head
in to the Arsenal goal past the stranded Szczesny.

Level: Demba Ba's deflected free-kick meant the sides went in on terms at the break

Level: Demba Ba's deflected free-kick meant the sides went in on terms at the break

Level: Demba Ba's deflected free-kick meant the sides went in on terms at the break

Arsenal came out much stronger after
the break. Kieran Gibbs drew a save from Krul at his near post shortly
before Oxlade-Chamberlain beat the Dutchman to make it 2-1.

Podolski intercepted a weak throw-in,
heading the ball to Cazorla, who found Oxlade-Chamberlain and he made
no mistake with a fine low drive from 20 yards.

Walcott somehow muscled Tiote off the ball and charged at goal, but he dragged his shot horribly wide.

England expects: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain restored the lead with a fierce finish on 50 minutes

England expects: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain restored the lead with a fierce finish on 50 minutes

England expects: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain restored the lead with a fierce finish on 50 minutes

Once again Arsenal were made to pay
as Newcastle equalised. Obertan turned Sagna inside out before his cross
was deflected off Koscielny and in to the path of the un-marked
Marveaux who tapped in to an empty net from barely two yards.

Arsenal were back ahead within five
minutes, however. Wilshere charged at the Newcastle defence and chipped a
wonderful ball to the back post. Coloccini could only head his
clearance against the bar and the ball fell to Podolski who nodded home
the easiest finish of his career to make it 3-2.

The 60,000 fans inside the Emirates Stadium barely had time to draw breath before Newcastle equalised again.

Capitalising: Sylvain Marveaux slotted home his first goal in the Premier League to make it 2-2

Capitalising: Sylvain Marveaux slotted home his first goal in the Premier League to make it 2-2

Brave: Lukas Podolski swung the game back in the favour of the hosts with a smart header from close range

Brave: Lukas Podolski swung the game back in the favour of the hosts with a smart header from close range

Three's a crowd: Ba made the most of slack marking once more to get his side on terms for the third time

Three's a crowd: Ba made the most of slack marking once more to get his side on terms for the third time

Marveaux bought time with his
trickery before swinging a ball to the back post where Ba bustled Gibbs
out of the way to turn the ball past Szczesny.

The home crowd blasted their team's
sloppy defending, but Walcott dug them out of trouble five minutes later
with Arsenal's fourth.

Gibbs slotted the ball across the box
for Podolski, he missed ball, but Walcott was stood just behind him and
he fired in to the roof of Krul's goal.

Composed: Walcott's second was another clever finish under pressure from the men in black and white

Composed: Walcott's second was another clever finish under pressure from the men in black and white

Composed: Walcott's second was another clever finish under pressure from the men in black and white

Giroud then killed off the game with five minutes left, latching on to Walcott's cross to head between Krul's legs.

The Frenchman then rubbed salt in to
Newcastle's wounds by slotting past Krul to make it 6-3 after Walcott
charged at the Toon defence.

Walcott then got the hat-trick he
deserved in injury time, picking himself off the turf after being
flattened by Tiote before chipping the ball over Krul with a brilliant
finish.

Arsenal could have had an eighth in injury time, but Giroud's header hit the bar.

Walcott, wearing a beaming smile, walked off with the match-ball amid chants of 'sign him up' from the home crowd.

Welcome to the party: Olivier Giroud took just a few minutes to get in on the act

Welcome to the party: Olivier Giroud took just a few minutes to get in on the act

Welcome to the party: Olivier Giroud took just a few minutes to get in on the act
.

Manchester United 4 Newcastle 3 match report: Javier Hernandez winner

Manchester United 4 Newcastle 3: Hernandez nets late winner to settle thriller after Fergie rages at officials again

|

UPDATED:

17:37 GMT, 26 December 2012

In the final minute of a thrilling encounter Javier Hernandez netted his 10th goal of the season and sent Manchester United seven points clear at the top of the table.

Three times Newcastle led in the search for their first Old Trafford win since 1972 and three times they were pegged back.

Their pain at defeat, Sir Alex Ferguson's altercation with the officials and a serious looking injury to Vurnon Anita were the only sad aspects of a staggering day that showed off all that is so alluring about English football.

Decider: Javier Hernandez struck the late winner in typically clinical fashion

Decider: Javier Hernandez struck the late winner in typically clinical fashion

Seeing red: Sir Ferguson was furious with referee Mike Dean and the officials after Newcastle's second goal

Seeing red: Sir Ferguson was furious with referee Mike Dean and the officials after Newcastle's second goal

Match facts

Man United: De Gea, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes (Cleverley 69), Giggs, Van Persie, Hernandez (Fletcher 90).

Subs not used: Lindegaard, Vidic, Buttner, Wootton, Tunnicliffe.

Booked: Evans, Valencia, Hernandez.

Goals: Evans 25, Evra 58, Van Persie 71, Hernandez 90.

Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Anita, Perch, Bigirimana (Obertan 65), Cisse (Sammy Ameobi 79), Ba (Shola Ameobi 71), Marveaux.

Subs not used: Elliot, Ferguson, Tavernier, Campbell.

Booked: Simpson, Williamson, Cisse.

Goals: Perch 4, Evans 28 og, Cisse 68.

Att: 75,596

Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral)

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After stumbling at Swansea, the last thing Ferguson wanted was a nosedive against Newcastle.

Yet the worries began when the teams were announced.

With Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young
injured and Danny Welbeck out through illness, Ferguson was short of
attacking options beyond Hernandez and Robin van Persie.

Even more concerning was the presence
of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes in the same starting line-up for the
first time since September.

With a combined age of 77, a sizeable
number of Red Devils followers now believe it is time one of the pair –
or both – should be pensioned off.

It is a harsh judgement given what
Giggs and Scholes have done down the years, but with Michael Carrick
also present it was clear Newcastle were not going to be over-run down
the middle of the pitch.

For all this, it was in defence where the hosts were found so badly wanting.

The conditions were against him, but
after Carrick gifted the visitors' possession to the visitors cheaply
inside his own half, David De Gea should have done much better than
meekly parry Demba Ba's skimmer straight to James Perch.

For a player who had never previously
scored for Newcastle, Perch could hardly have hoped for an easier
opportunity to break his duck.

Opener: James Perch celebrates his goal

Opener: James Perch celebrates his goal

Good Evans: The United defender scored just three minutes before putting the ball in his own net

Good Evans: The United defender scored just three minutes before putting the ball in his own net

Good Evans: The United defender scored just three minutes before putting the ball in his own net

Behind once more, United's attempts to force their way back were not convincing.

But when Van Persie drilled a free-kick into the Newcastle box, Hernandez pounced on the loose ball.

The Mexican's shot was blocked by Tim Krul, only for Jonny Evans to slide into the empty net.

It was the start of a hectic period
for the Northern Irishman, who was booked for handball after becoming
the third player this season – following Rooney and Gareth Bale – to
score at both ends.

Fury: Ferguson told Mike Dean exactly what he thought

Fury: Ferguson told Mike Dean exactly what he thought

Fury: Ferguson told Mike Dean exactly what he thought

That hardly tells the whole story
though, as the debate over what now constitutes offside erupted after
Evans turned a shot from United old-boy Danny Simpson past De Gea.

As Graham Poll quickly confirmed on Twitter
referee Mike Dean had got it right; it can only be assumed Papiss Cisse
remained 'non-active' despite pressurising Evans from an offside
position.

Ferguson was not similarly convinced.

As Dean made his way onto the pitch
for the start of the second-half, Ferguson confronted the referee to
make his feelings known.

Fourth official Neil Swarbrick also
got it in the neck before the United manager rounded on assistant
referee Jake Collin, who had initially raised his flag, believing Cisse
had got the final touch.

Back in it: Patrice Evra made it 2-2 just before the hour mark

Back in it: Patrice Evra made it 2-2 just before the hour mark

Three and easy: Papiss Cisse thought he'd won it for Newcastle

Three and easy: Papiss Cisse thought he'd won it for Newcastle

Thankfully, Dean had the good sense to speak to his fellow official at the time, ensuring justice was done.

For United, the spin-off was that the
hairdryer treatment sparked a marked improvement and just before the
hour Evra hauled them level for a second time when his low shot beat
Krul to the bottom corner.

Yet the cruise to victory never materialised.

Instead came more of the Kamikaze defending that has characterised United's season.

Three but not easy: Robin van Persie struck United's third equaliser of the game

Three but not easy: Robin van Persie struck United's third equaliser of the game

Red Devils old-boy Gabriel Obertan streaked down the wing and delivered a perfect cross for Cisse to smash home.

Newcastle held this lead for three
minutes before Van Persie drove in his 16th goal of the season after
Krul had saved his initial shot.

Now Ferguson and Alan Pardew could
only stand on the touchline and watch as this breathless, chaotic game
headed for its conclusion.

United fury at a handball claim
against Fabricio Coloccini that went unheeded was replaced by anguish as
both Van Persie and Hernandez went close.

At the death: Javier Hernandez wheels away after scoring the final goal of the game

At the death: Javier Hernandez wheels away after scoring the final goal of the game

De Gea got away with a near-calamitous
misjudgement when he allowed Sammy Ameobi's shot to roll past him,
thinking it was going wide, only for it to hit a post and rebound
straight back.

Hernandez was denied by Krul at the other end before Van Persie headed over as injury-time approached.

Like two heavyweights slugging it out,
swinging for all they were worth, their reliance on instinct total,
there was one punch left.

And with it Hernandez knocked Newcastle out.

Manchester United v Newcastle, Norwich v Chelsea, Sunderland v Manchester City, Evrton v Wigan, Fulham v Southampton, QPR v West Brom, Reading v…

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Boxing Day action from around the grounds as it happens

|

UPDATED:

14:13 GMT, 26 December 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League's Boxing Day action with seven fixtures including Manchester United's home clash with Newcastle kicking off at 3pm. Elsewhere it is Everton v Wigan, Fulham v Southampton, Norwich v Chelsea, QPR v West Brom, Reading v Swansea and Sunderland v Manchester City.

Have your say by contacting Rik Sharma on Twitter: @rbsfeatures

2.12pm: News in that QPR v West Brom will kick off 15 minutes late.

Manchester United v Newcastle

Man United: De Gea, Smalling, Evra, Evans, Ferdinand, Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Scholes, Hernandez, van Persie.

Newcastle: Krul, Coloccini, Santon, Simpson, Williamson, Perch, Anita, Marveaux, Bigirimana, Cisse, Ba.

So – Rooney has been dropped but Alan Pardew continues to play his out-of-form striker Papiss Cisse. Will he come good today

2.09: OK, here we go. Teams dropping in left, right and centre.

2.07: All the team news for today's 3pm kick-offs is on the way. Early indications are that Wayne Rooney has been dropped by Manchester United after his poor performance in the draw with Swansea on Sunday.

2.05: West Brom's coach was stuck in traffic on their way to Loftus Road to face QPR, but they've arrived now and are preparing for the game.

2pm: Good afternoon and welcome to Sportsmail's coverage of the Boxing Day football. I trust you all had a superb Christmas and aren't too full to feast again, but this time on goals!

Boxing day highlight: Manchester United host Newcastle at Old Trafford

Boxing day highlight: Manchester United host Newcastle at Old Trafford

Alan Pardew praises Shola Ameobi

Pardew praises Ameobi 'the big man for the big occasion' as Toon struggle past Rangers

|

UPDATED:

20:13 GMT, 22 December 2012

Alan Pardew hailed Shola Ameobi after seeing the striker come off the bench to fire Newcastle to a much-needed victory over lowly QPR.

The 31-year struck nine minutes from time to claim just the Magpies' second Barclays Premier League win in eight attempts with the game seemingly heading for stalemate.

Toon hero: Newcastle's Shola Ameobi celebrates scoring his sides winning goal with James Perch

Toon hero: Newcastle's Shola Ameobi celebrates scoring his sides winning goal with James Perch

Match facts

Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon, Anita, Tiote (Marveaux 77), Perch, Gutierrez (Obertan 60), Ba, Cisse (Shola Ameobi 61).

Subs Not Used: Harper, Bigirimana, Sammy Ameobi, Ferguson.

Booked: Tiote, Perch, Shola Ameobi.

Goal: Shola Ameobi 81.

QPR: Green, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Nelsen, Hill, Mackie, Mbia, Granero (Wright-Phillips 56), Faurlin (Derry 78), Taarabt, Cisse (Hoilett 64).

Subs Not Used: Murphy, Diakite, Traore, Onuoha.

Booked: Ferdinand, Hill.

Attendance: 50,180

Referee: Kevin Friend

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Pardew, whose decision to replace
Papiss Cisse with Ameobi 20 minutes earlier had been booed by a section
of the 50,180-strong crowd at St James' Park, said: 'I know the crowd
weren't particularly pleased when I took Cisse, a goalscorer, off but I
just felt Shola… he's a big man and this was a big occasion and he likes
big occasions.

'It said QPR on the programme but
really it was bigger than that, I think we all knew that and he has that
calm head – he knows what is demanded here – to produce a quality goal,
and it won us the game.

'I wanted to get Shola on the pitch, and thank goodness I did because it was a really class finish.

'He could have taken the shot with
his right foot, which is his stronger foot, but to have that composure
in that area is first-class.'

Ameobi's decisive intervention came
in the nick of time and was greeted by a huge sigh of relief on Tyneside
after he ran on to fellow substitute Sylvain Marveaux's
perfectly-weighted pass before shooting left-foot across keeper Rob
Green and into the bottom corner.

Leaving it late: Shola Ameobi scores to win the game for Newcastle

Leaving it late: Shola Ameobi scores to win the game for Newcastle

It was no more than the Magpies
deserved after dominating throughout but it proved a rare piece of
incision with Pardew's men too often lacking craft to open up the
visitors.

Vurnon Anita forced two second-half
saves from Green, but Tim Krul also had to get down well to keep out
Djibril Cisse's effort just after the break.

The Magpies might have won more
comfortably had Green not beaten away Marveaux's late effort after a
pacy run, but Krul had to ease late nerves by plucking Adel Taarabt's
free-kick from under his crossbar in the sixth minute of stoppage time.

Fight for the ball: Adel Taarabt vies for the ball with Newcastle's Mike Williamson

Fight for the ball: Adel Taarabt vies for the ball with Newcastle's Mike Williamson

Pardew had admitted before the game
that he would not enjoy his Christmas lunch unless he sat down with
three points safely banked, and he was delighted to be able to do so
ahead of a tough Boxing Day trip to Manchester United.

He said: 'The pudding will taste a
little bit sweeter. I feel sorry for our fans. We have put them through
the rack, really, over this last period.

'They have watched some football that
hasn't been our best. But you have periods in your tenure as a manager
and sometimes a season.

Midfield battle: Cheick Tiote is tracked by Esteban Granero

Midfield battle: Cheick Tiote is tracked by Esteban Granero

Pardew had admitted before the game
that he would not enjoy his Christmas lunch unless he sat down with
three points safely banked, and he was delighted to be able to do so
ahead of a tough Boxing Day trip to Manchester United.

He said: 'The pudding will taste a
little bit sweeter. I feel sorry for our fans. We have put them through
the rack, really, over this last period.

'They have watched some football that
hasn't been our best. But you have periods in your tenure as a manager
and sometimes a season.

Getting it right: Harry Redknapp gives instructions from the sidelines

Getting it right: Harry Redknapp gives instructions from the sidelines

'Last season, we sailed through one or two low moments but not many. This year, it's been a sustained little run.

'But the last five games, two wins in
the last four Premier League games, they are starting to look the right
sort of stats now.

'Now we need to back that up and get a big win against one of the big clubs, and that would really cement us into mid-table.'

Defeat on Tyneside was the first for
QPR boss Harry Redknapp since taking over from Mark Hughes, although he
admitted his side had been hanging on when Ameobi settled the game.

He said: 'I thought we were going to hang on and nick a draw. I couldn't see us winning, but we just couldn't see it through.

'I thought we could hang on for a good point to keep us going, but it just wasn't to be.'

All smiles: QPR owner Tony Fernandes watches on at St James' Park

All smiles: QPR owner Tony Fernandes watches on at St James' Park

Fulham 2 Newcastle 1 match report – Hugo Rodallega scores winner

Fulham 2 Newcastle 1: Rodallega grabs rare win as Pardew's men slide towards danger

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UPDATED:

07:49 GMT, 11 December 2012

Alan Pardew passed two years in charge of Newcastle United on Monday night, but it will not be an anniversary the manager looks back on with particular fondness.

He tinkered with his formation and cajoled his players constantly, but yet another away defeat leaves the visitors only four places above the relegation zone.

It may yet get worse: they must play Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal before the turn of the year, while Sunderland, in 18th place, have a game in hand against Reading on Tuesday.

All white on the night: Fulham secured a first league win since October, beating Newcastle

All white on the night: Fulham secured a first league win since October, beating Newcastle

MATCH FACTS

FULHAM: Schwarzer, Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise, Duff, Sidwell, Baird, Kacaniklic (Dejagah 62), Berbatov, Rodallega (Petric 86). Subs not used: Etheridge, Richardson, Senderos, Karagounis, Diarra.

Goals: Sidwell 19, Rodallega 63.

NEWCASTLE: Krul, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Anita (Marveaux 86), Tiote (Bigirimana 86), Ben Arfa (Shola Ameobi 72), Gutierrez, Cisse, Ba. Subs not used: Harper, Ferguson, Tavernier, Perch.

Goal: Ben Arfa 54.

Attendance: 25,270.

Referee: Lee Mason.

Premier League table, fixtures and results

For Fulham, though, there is hope
again and, crucially, goals. Martin Jol’s side had gone more than five
hours without scoring before Steve Sidwell’s 19th-minute strike.

Even that was a little fortunate, as
the midfielder’s right-foot shot took a heavy deflection off Mike
Williamson and cannoned in off the underside of the bar. But a second
from Hugo Rodallega gave Fulham their first Premier League victory since
October.

The gloom, however, only increases for Newcastle, despite Hatem Ben Arfa scoring on his return from a hamstring injury.

‘I’m worried in that we’re not
picking up enough points,’ said Pardew. ‘The performances are much
improved, there’s more fluency about our attacking play, but it’s a
worry. We haven’t got enough points and we’ve got a tough run of games.
But if we keep working as hard as we did tonight, I think it will
change.’

Bright start: Steve Sidwell fortuitous striker handed Fulham the lead in the 19th minute

Bright start: Steve Sidwell fortuitous striker handed Fulham the lead in the 19th minute

Bright start: Steve Sidwell fortuitous striker handed Fulham the lead in the 19th minute

Bright start: Steve Sidwell fortuitous striker handed Fulham the lead in the 19th minute

Injuries have not been kind to Newcastle but there was little excuse for their defending.

Only a covering tackle from Danny
Simpson had prevented Alex Kacaniklic scoring after just 60 seconds,
while the manner in which Rodallega was allowed to chest down a Damien
Duff cross in the box after 17 minutes provided particular cause for
concern.

Newcastle had plenty of chances and
Sascha Riether, who was excellent at right back for the hosts, cleared
two shots off the line from Fabricio Coloccini and Demba Ba before Ben
Arfa’s goal.

But it could have been far worse for the visitors if Tim Krul had not performed so well.

Hatem bomb: Newcastle got back on terms thanks to Hatem Ben Arfa's deflected drive

Hatem bomb: Newcastle got back on terms thanks to Hatem Ben Arfa's deflected drive

Hatem bomb: Newcastle got back on terms thanks to Hatem Ben Arfa's deflected drive

They were continually exposed by
Fulham’s width, especially down the right. Duff’s two assists equalled
his tally in 68 appearances for Newcastle, while the home side’s
willingness to mix the odd long ball over the top with the attacking
guile of Dimitar Berbatov and Rodallega was impressive.

‘That was vital for us,’ said Jol. ‘I was so happy we scored first because that was our problem in the last couple of weeks.

'At 2-1 we should have scored two or
three. We showed some character but I’m pleased we finished it off.
After losing Clint Dempsey I’m very happy that Berbatov came to this
club. He’s an unbelievable player.’

Rough and ready: Both teams fought hard to find the winner, and both hit the woodwork more than once

Rough and ready: Both teams fought hard to find the winner, and both hit the woodwork more than once

Whisper it, but Berbatov not only
exhibited all the style and swagger we expect but he worked hard in the
absence of Bryan Ruiz, who has suffered a setback in his return from a
hamstring injury.

Pardew’s 4-3-3 formation left Berbatov with room to ‘orchestrate’, as he put it.

Newcastle were also exposed in
central midfield, with Sidwell and Chris Baird picking off passes
comfortably and protecting their back four. The visiting boss was forced
into a change after his side went behind, slotting Ben Arfa back into a
midfield four.

The Frenchman looked a little off the
pace in his first start for a month, but still took it upon himself to
embarrass Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer with a shot that found the
roof of the net after 53 minutes. It took a deflection off John Arne
Riise, but Fulham players were culpable of standing off Ben Arfa, and
were duly punished.

Head boy: Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega grabbed the winner with a powerful header

Head boy: Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega grabbed the winner with a powerful header

Head boy: Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega grabbed the winner with a powerful header

Jol’s side have thrown away 14 points from winning positions and it quickly looked as if would be a similar case.

But then Duff, booed throughout the
match by supporters of his former club, curled in a beautiful free-kick
from the right after 63 minutes. Rodallega eluded Coloccini with ease —
it was shocking defending from Newcastle and particularly their captain
— to give Fulham their first win in eight games.

They had to hold on in the final
minutes, however. Coloccini hit the bar with a stinging shot, substitute
Shola Ameobi attempted a right-foot effort and Jonas Gutierrez also
came close.

Alan Pardew criticises Newcastle defence for Fulham defeat

We only have ourselves to blame! Pardew criticises Newcastle defence for Fulham defeat

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UPDATED:

00:19 GMT, 11 December 2012

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said his side only had themselves to blame for defeat against Fulham on Monday night.

His side lost 2-1 at Craven Cottage and Hugo Rodallega scored the winner with a free header from a free-kick.

Ex-Toon winger Damien Duff whipped the ball in from the right and the Colombian rose to nod the ball past Tim Krul without having to deal with any defenders, even though Fabricio Coloccini was close by.

Oops: Hugo Rodallega (left) scored the winner with a free header after being left unmarked

Oops: Hugo Rodallega (left) scored the winner with a free header after being left unmarked

Pardew said: 'It's a really soft second goal – a soft free-kick, soft defending on the free-kick and you can't do that at this level because we had the game by the scruff of the neck at this point.

'We played some of our best attacking football of the season, but we've still come away with nothing. Performances don't get you points.

'In the second half we were terrific other than those two or three moments. We've got no-one to blame but ourselves.'

Newcastle have not won away from home this season and are on their worst run for 27 years on their travels.

'I think we've conceded poor goals at crucial times and away from home it's costly,” the manager said.

Newcastle's next game is at home to champions Manchester City had Pardew insisted his side would go into that clash with confidence.

'I think at home we are a threat to anybody,' he said.

Steve Sidwell opened the scoring in a first half which Fulham deserved to lead in, but Hatem Ben Arfa struck from distance to level things up.

The game became an electric end-to-end clash and both sides had chances to win – but Pardew felt his side should have been tighter at the back.

'We just didn't defend it well it I'm honest, we are going to have to be better – we can't concede soft goals at this level,' he said.

'To win that game we needed to score three at Fulham and it is really difficult to do that.

Come on! Alan Pardew demanded improvement from his defence

Come on! Alan Pardew demanded improvement from his defence

'Of course it is very, very disappointing because I believe we have an honest set of players and we work on situations and really for us it is a poor goal, I can't so no more than that really.'

Newcastle have now lost five out of their last six league games and Pardew admitted times were tough for the club.

'I'm worried in so much as we are not picking up enough points, that is pretty evident,' he said.

'Although the performances against Stoke, Wigan and today have improved, it is a worry we don't have enough points on the board.'

Strong: Pardew liked with his side's attacking intent, which was aided by the return of Hatem Ben Arfa (right)

Strong: Pardew liked with his side's attacking intent, which was aided by the return of Hatem Ben Arfa (right)

Peter Crouch: I thought I"d look like Joe Jordan

It's a good job I'm married… I'd be struggling with these teeth, jokes Crouch

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UPDATED:

09:51 GMT, 8 December 2012

Stoke striker Peter Crouch has joked that he's glad he's married otherwise he'd be struggling to attract girls after having two teeth knocked out.

The 31-year-old suffered the blow, which has left him having to wear a brace and, for matches, a gum shield, in a challenge with Fabricio Coloccini.

'The last week has been pretty horrendous,' he told the Daily Mirror. 'My teeth came out in my hand.

Sore one: Peter Crouch lost two teeth in a collision with Fabricio Coloccini

Sore one: Peter Crouch lost two teeth in a collision with Fabricio Coloccini

'Thankfully there was a dentist in the crowd, a season ticket holder who works for the club, who came down and acted very quickly. He saved them.

'I thought I was going to end up looking like Joe Jordan! I've never had to a wear brace before, not even when I was a teenager..

On the mend: Crouch has endured a painful week

On the mend: Crouch has endured a painful week

'I’ve had a lot of sympathy from her
[wife Abbey Clancy] but I said when I had them knocked out it’s a good
job I’m married, otherwise I’d be struggling!'

Former Scotland forward Jordan lost
his two front teeth early in his career while at Leeds and, though they
were replaced by dentures, he played without them for safety reasons