Tag Archives: doubt

Mahmood Al Zarooni"s career in doubt after 11 of his horses test positive for anabolic steroids

Godolphin rocked by drugs scandal: Al Zarooni's career in doubt after 11 of his horses test positive for anabolic steroids

St Leger winner Encke was trained by Al Zarooni” class=”blkBorder” />

Scandal: 2012 St Leger winner Encke was trained by Al Zarooni

‘I can only apologise for the damage this will cause to Godolphin and to racing generally.’

When jumps trainer Howard Johnson was banned for four years in 2010, one year was a result of positive steroid tests.

None of the Al Zarooni horses to test positive can currently run.

His stable was subject to a random test on April 9.

No date has been set for the hearing.

Paul Lambert has challenged Christian Benteke to stay at Aston Villa

Lambert challenges Benteke to stay at Villa and prove he's not a one-season wonder

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

17:15 GMT, 19 April 2013

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UPDATED:

19:44 GMT, 19 April 2013

Paul Lambert registered little surprise at Christian Benteke’s nomination for the PFA young player of the year yesterday but asked Aston Villa’s top scorer to guard against becoming a one-season wonder.

Benteke, 22, has scored 19 goals so far, including 15 in the Premier League, and been the major reason why Lambert’s side has managed to claw themselves clear of trouble in the Premier League.

His physical presence has also allowed others to flourish. But Villa’s boss remained phlegmatic at the announcement, instead urging Benteke to carry on his good work.

Plea: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has challenged Belgian striker Christian Benteke to stay at Villa Park and prove he is no one-season wonder.

Plea: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has challenged Belgian striker Christian Benteke to stay at Villa Park and prove he is no one-season wonder.

'I’m not bothered if he’s nominated or not, as long as he’s performing for this club,' said Lambert, 'we’ll have to wait and see whether he wins it.

'However, I don’t think it’ll affect him one bit. If he remains the way he is at this minute, he’ll do very well for himself.

Preparation: Benteke and Villa travel to Manchester United this weekend

Preparation: Benteke and Villa travel to Manchester United this weekend

'And I don’t want to pile too much pressure upon him. He’s only a young guy learning his trade. He’s made mistakes like everyone else but his performances have been very good.

'He’s got to sustain a level where he is doing it, week in, week out.

'No doubt we’ll look at his contract at the end of the season. I just don’t want him to be one-season wonder.'

Little interest: Lambert is not bothered whether Benteke wins the PFA Young Player of the Year or not - knowing how valuable he has been for his side this season

Little interest: Lambert is not bothered whether Benteke wins the PFA Young Player of the Year or not – knowing how valuable he has been for his side this season

The spotlight will be on Manchester United’s David De Gea after Andy Carroll’s challenge on the keeper at Upton Park last week.

Lambert said that while Benteke was aggressive, there is no malicious intent.

Michael Carrick

Robin van Persie

Tough test: Villa travel to Old Trafford to face Player of the Year nominees Michael Carrick and Robin Van Persie

'I think a lot has been made of that situation,' added the Scot, 'we don’t really have a physical side, it has only been Christian, he’s a big lad but not an aggressive guy who does not want to hurt anyone.

'I don’t think anyone goes out to hurt anyone. The British game is an up and out them type of football. But Christian is not that way inclined.'

Wrong end: Fabian Delph's (right) own goal gave Aston Villa a point against an 'underrated' Fulham side

Wrong end: Fabian Delph's (right) own goal gave Aston Villa a point against an 'underrated' Fulham side

Threatened: Villa now sit just three points above the relegation zone and Wigan have a game in hand

Threatened: Villa now sit just three points above the relegation zone and Wigan have a game in hand

David De Gea and Patrice Evra taken out by Andy Carroll in Manchester United match at West Ham

Carroll's hit parade: De Gea and Evra feel the full force of striker in collisions that left Fergie furious (and Vidic got a crack, too)

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

20:11 GMT, 17 April 2013

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UPDATED:

21:10 GMT, 17 April 2013

After some lightweight performances earlier in the season, Manchester United have slowly been toughening up young goalkeeper David de Gea to cope with the rigours of the English game.

But no amount of steak and shoulder presses could prepare Spaniard for an Andy Carroll special.

The England striker clattered into De Gea shortly before half-time in this evening's match between West Ham and United at Upton Park, also taking down Patrice Evra in the process.

Collision course: David de Gea manages to punch the ball clear, but Andy Carroll (right) is already in full flight

Collision course: David de Gea manages to punch the ball clear, but Andy Carroll (right) is already in full flight

Face-to-face: There's no going back as the Spanish keeper and the England striker hurtle towards each other

Face-to-face: There's no going back as the Spanish keeper and the England striker hurtle towards each other

Smack! De Gea comes off far worse as Carroll smashes into him, with Patrice Evra sandwiched underneath

Smack! De Gea comes off far worse as Carroll smashes into him, with Patrice Evra sandwiched underneath

Both United players were left nursing bruises on the ground following the forceful barge from behind, which left Sir Alex Ferguson furious on the sidelines as referee Lee Probert declined to show Carroll a yellow.

In a sign that his 'bulking-up' programme is working, 22-year-old De Gea had come through a cluster of bodies to commandingly punch clear a corner before Carrol knocked him down.

It was very different earlier in the
season when opponents would target the keeper as a weak link and
occasionally benefit – notably when a last minute blunder cost United
three points at Spurs back in January.

Ferguson
remonstrated with the fourth official over the incident as the two
teams left the field at half-time and no doubt would have been satisfied
when Carroll was booked early in the second period for another tangle
with De Gea.

But the England striker was not finished there, appearing to catch United defender Nemanja Vidic with his elbow, leaving the Serb furious.

Grounded: Phil Jones, Robin van Persie and Rio Ferdinand appeal as those involved crash to the pitch

Grounded: Phil Jones, Robin van Persie and Rio Ferdinand appeal as those involved crash to the pitch

Furious: Sir Alex Ferguson remonstrates with officials after referee Lee Probert failed to show a yellow card

Furious: Sir Alex Ferguson remonstrates with officials after referee Lee Probert failed to show a yellow card

Round two! Carroll was booked for this collision with De Gea early in the second half

Round two! Carroll was booked for this collision with De Gea early in the second half

Given the elbow Carroll and Vidic go up for the ball and the West Ham striker appears to catch his opponent

Given the elbow Carroll and Vidic go up for the ball and the West Ham striker appears to catch his opponent

Carroll and Vidic

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers insists Andy Carroll will not be sold on the cheap

Rodgers insists Carroll will not leave for peanuts, but don't expect anywhere near the 'astronomical' 35m paid in the first place

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

21:00 GMT, 5 April 2013

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 5 April 2013

Andy Carroll will not be allowed to leave Liverpool on the cheap with Brendan Rodgers undecided whether the 35m striker is part of his plans.

The 28-year-old is currently on loan at West Ham and will sit down with Rodgers at the end of the season to discuss his Anfield future.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is keen sign Carroll on a permanent basis, while the player’s former club Newcastle are monitoring the situation.

Wanted man Carroll's future is still unsure, with his Liverpool contract running out in 2016

Wanted man Carroll's future is still unsure, with his Liverpool contract running out in 2016

Brendan Rodgers

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew

Been and gone: Rodgers (left) wiants a good fee for Carroll, with Alan Pardew (right) rumoured to be interested

Although Rodgers has warned potential suitors they will have to pay the going rate for the powerful target man.

‘It’s absolutely the case that, just the same as last season, If the player does leave then it won’t be for nothing,’ Rodgers said.

‘He came here for an astronomical fee which was no fault of his own, so we will see what happens in the summer.’

Rodgers admires the robust qualities that Carroll can bring to a team, but hinted that he may struggle to accommodate a player of his type in his future vision for Liverpool.

'Astronomical': Rodgers saysthe huge fee paid for Carroll by Kenny Dalglish was not the player's fault

'Astronomical': Rodgers saysthe huge fee paid for Carroll by Kenny Dalglish was not the player's fault

‘Every player it is about the style, and how they fit into that. If you look at Luis Suarez he has flourished this season in the roaming role we have given him.

'We are a team that is set up to exploit his qualities,’ Rodgers added.

‘Likewise for other players you may have to set up in a certain way to get the best out of them.

There is no doubt Andy has qualities – some of his goals from set plays with West Ham have proven that.’

Out the door: Carroll played 44 times in the Premier League for Liverpool before moving on loan to West Ham

Out the door: Carroll played 44 times in the Premier League for Liverpool before moving on loan to West Ham

Arsene Wenger expects Jack Wilshere to become an England centurion

Bale is the flavour of the month… But Wilshere will be an England centurion, claims Wenger

By
Jim Van Wijk, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

22:50 GMT, 2 March 2013

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UPDATED:

09:40 GMT, 3 March 2013

No pressure: Jack Wilshere is expected to win 100 caps, according to Wenger

No pressure: Jack Wilshere is expected to win 100 caps, according to Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is in no doubt midfielder Jack Wilshere can outlast the hype and go on to earn a century of caps for England.

Wilshere, 21, returned from more than a year out injured in October, but is already being heralded as an integral part of the future hopes of both club and country.

Arsenal head to Tottenham on Sunday, where they will come up against in-form Welshman Gareth Bale, who has drawn comparisons with Europe's best after his match-winning performances this season.

Wenger believes his own talented midfielder has everything ahead of him.

'Bale is the flavour of the moment. When you look at Wilshere, who will deny that this guy will get 100 caps for England Nobody, if he has no injury,' said Wenger.

'My worry is not to compare Wilshere with anyone else. My only worry when you are a footballer player of that talent is to become as good as you can become.

'That is the only thing that is of interest to me. I leave the comparisons to other people. My job is to get the best out of him.'

Talking a good game: Wenger (left) and Wilshere (right)

Talking a good game: Wenger (left) and Wilshere (right)

Wenger feels it is sometimes overlooked just how much Wilshere has achieved since arriving at the club aged nine.

'You tend to forget how old he is when you see him play. You never come out of a game and think 'this guy is 21 years old'. He's at a stage where the others have not started,' said Wenger.

'You think of Jack (as) an established player in the Premier League and at international level, that is still something special.'

Wenger feels Wilshere will develop into Arsenal's natural leader. He continued: 'Jack breathes football. He doesn't talk too much, but he understands everything.

On the run: Wilshere (right) takes on Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger

On the run: Wilshere (right) takes on Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger

'What he has exceeded is the speed of his physical fitness in the game. Honestly, I never expected that.'

Wilshere has yet to score in the Premier League this season, but Wenger feels that the goals will soon come.

'I believe it's part of his development to play a bit more advanced,” the Arsenal boss said.

'In some games, he is more comfortable deeper. I believe he has a little dribble that can get him through in the final third and the finishing will come.

'He's a bit in a situation like (Cesc) Fabregas was for a while. He said to me “but I cannot score goals', however you could see that it would come.

'Jack doesn't talk about it, but who doesn't want to score goals He is more a team player than a goalscorer.

'He will never be a goalscorer, but he can be capable to score.'

Arsenal head across north London defending a five-match unbeaten run, with three victories on the bounce, as they look to move back to just one point behind their rivals.

Wenger accepts there are no longer any margins for error if his team at to secure another top-four finish.

'It is still open, but I am realistic and we cannot drop points,' he said.

'One or two of the other teams will always win over the weekend. If we drop points we can fall quickly behind.

'So there are two things we cannot do – drop points and also speculate over the weaknesses of our opponents because that can be deadly as well.'

Joe Allen believes Liverpool can improve in the Premier League if they can replicate QPR masterclass

Allen believes Liverpool can bring back success to Anfield if they can replicate QPR masterclass

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UPDATED:

16:11 GMT, 31 December 2012

Joe Allen believes there are 'exciting times ahead' for Liverpool if they can start producing performances like yesterday's at QPR on a regular basis.

The Reds dominated at Loftus Road, impressing from start to finish as they romped to a 3-0 victory despite manager Brendan Rodgers' enforced absence.

Luis Suarez struck twice in the opening 16 minutes, before Daniel Agger netted in a first half in which Liverpool completely outplayed the hosts.

Engine: Allen was instrumental in Liverpool comfortable victory at Loftus road

Engine: Allen was instrumental in Liverpool comfortable victory at Loftus road

They tapered off after the break but their level of speed and skill in the opening 45 minutes is something summer signing Allen believes bodes well for the Anfield club.

'That is what we're aiming to do in every game.'

'If we can get that level of performance as consistently as possible then we have some exciting times ahead.

'I am extremely pleased. We had a disappointing result, as everyone knows, away to Stoke so it is always important to bounce back first and foremost with a good performance.

'To score three goals and keep a clean sheet is a massive bonus.

'It was a good team performance but when you've got a player like Luis Suarez that can create and score goals out of nothing, it is a pretty big help.'

As impressive as Liverpool were, there is no doubt QPR let themselves down yesterday.

That, though, is not something Allen is keen to focus on, instead pointing to the performance he and his team-mates produced.

'We like to focus on ourselves,' he said.

'When you come away and get a victory like this, it is obviously a massive boost to our confidence.

'I think we like to take credit maybe for the way we played and making it hard for them.'

The victory was made all the more impressive by the fact they did it without manager Rodgers.

The Reds boss was sent home from London ill, so assistant manager Colin Pascoe and coach Mike Marsh were on the sidelines instead.

Talisman: Suarez tore QPR apart in the first-half on Sunday

Talisman: Suarez tore QPR apart in the first-half on Sunday

'I think when things like this happen it is a bit of a shock,' Allen added.

'It sets you back a little bit but we've got great staff here and people that can step in.

'They can obviously do a great job and as players we are professional enough to get on with things.'

The win moved Liverpool up to ninth in the standings, while QPR's predicament gets worse by the game.

The bottom-place side have now won just one of their 20 Premier League outings this season, leaving them eight points adrift of safety.

Redknapp was quick to talk up QPR's chances of survival after the game, but admits he had to bring on defensive midfielder Shaun Derry for Djibril Cisse at half-time in a bid to protect his side's goal difference.

Subsitute: Colin Pascoe took charge of the team after Brendan Rodgers was sidelined through illness

Subsitute: Colin Pascoe took charge of the team after Brendan Rodgers was sidelined through illness

'In the second half it became a case of damage limitation,' he said.

'You can't be stupid about it.

'What can you do Open up and say you're going to score four goals in the second half against a side like that

'Sometimes you've got to be realistic. No one wants to attack more than I do but when you're up against a team that can cut through you like we were, you have to be realistic.

Reinforcements: Redknapp is targeting new players in the January transfer window including West Ham's Mohamed Diame

Reinforcements: Redknapp is targeting new players in the January transfer window including West Ham's Mohamed Diame

'I thought we had some good movement in the second half and created a couple of good opportunities, played some decent stuff, but it's not easy.'

It is clear that QPR need fresh faces if they are to beat the drop, with Redknapp recently admitting an interest in bringing former Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka back to west London.

Reports have also suggested the Rs boss wants to be reunited with Joe Cole, a player he managed at West Ham, although last week he insisted there had been no contact with the Liverpool player.

Today has also seen QPR linked to West Ham's Mohamed Diame, Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila and Marseille's Loic Remy, although persuading them to join the league's bottom-place side may prove a tough task.

Xabi Alonso could return to Premier League

Alonso's Madrid future in doubt as ex-Liverpool star ponders Premier League return

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UPDATED:

06:41 GMT, 31 December 2012

Xabi Alonso has admitted he could make a stunning return to the Premier League.

The Real Madrid midfielder, 31, has 18 months remaining on his contract with the Spanish giants and talks over extending it are on hold.

Alonso spent five years at Liverpool before returning to his homeland in 2009.

England bound Xabi Alonso (right) could leave Real Madrid

England bound Xabi Alonso (right) could leave Real Madrid

'I've no idea what will happen,' Alonso told reporters in Spain.

'I have not decided on my future. I will only stay at Real Madrid if I can offer the same level on the pitch as I can now and we will see what happens in the next few months.

'There is always a chance I could go back to the Premier League as I always enjoyed good times there.'

Fan's favourite: Alonso enjoyed a successful five-year spell at Liverpool

Fan's favourite: Alonso enjoyed a successful five-year spell at Liverpool

Alonso helped Liverpool win the Champions League, FA Cup and Community Shield before adding to his trophy haul in Madrid.

Last season's La Liga title followed the club's Copa del Rey triumph a year earlier while Alonso was an integral part of the Spain sides which won Euro 2008 and 2012, along with the 2010 World Cup.

He was also named the best midfielder in the Spanish top flight last season.

Paul O"Connell doubtful for Six Nations

Ireland's injury crisis worsens with O'Connell doubtful for Six Nations ahead of back surgery

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UPDATED:

14:53 GMT, 30 December 2012

Former Lions captain Paul O'Connell is a major doubt for Ireland's upcoming Six Nations campaign after his provincial side Munster announced that he would be undergoing surgery on a back injury that has blighted his season.

O'Connell has been dogged by injury in recent years and has only played two games for Munster this season with the back injury also forcing him to sit out Ireland's November internationals.

Green giant: O'Connell captained Ireland throughout last year's Six Nations

Green giant: O'Connell captained Ireland throughout last year's Six Nations

A statement from Munster revealed that the 33-year-old lock would undergo back surgery at the earliest opportunity but did not give a time frame for how long his recovery would take.

Ulster wing Tommy Bowe, the country's third highest try scorer of all time, was ruled out of the Six Nations earlier this month with a knee injury. Ireland open their campaign in Wales on February 2.

Gareth Bale wanted by Real Madrid as Jose Mourinho bids 33m for Spurs star

Bale tops Real Madrid shopping list as Mourinho bids 33m for Spurs star

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UPDATED:

09:18 GMT, 28 December 2012

Real Madrid have stepped up their pursuit of Gareth Bale by putting together a 33million bid to try and prise him away from White Hart Lane.

Tottenham have been aware of Real's interest for months but will be concerned that the Spanish newspaper closest to them are now reporting that an offer has been made.

Marca claim it is for 40million euros and that manager Jose Mourinho will not rest until his top transfer target has been secured.

Real target: Spanish giants Madrid have Totenham winger Gareth Bale in their sights once again

Real target: Spanish giants Madrid have Totenham winger Gareth Bale in their sights once again

Big news: Marca revealed Real Madrid's determination to land Bale

Big news: Marca revealed Real Madrid's determination to land Bale

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas dismissed Real's chances of landing Bale last week and insisted it was 'completely impossible' that the lightning-quick midfielder would be allowed to leave in the January window.

That will not deter Mourinho, who will wait until the end of the season, if need be, to add Bale's pace and finishing to Real's attack.

Hat-trick hero: Bale hit a treble for Spurs in their Boxing Day victory over Aston Villa

Hat-trick hero: Bale hit a treble for Spurs in their Boxing Day victory over Aston Villa

As a measure of Real's determination to take the 23-year old to the Spanish capital, Marca recently revealed that 56m had been set aside to cover the overall package required to make the deal a reality.

Bale further enhanced his flourishing reputation with a clinical hat-trick in Tottenham's 4-0 Boxing Day win at Aston Villa, and team-mate Sandro is in no doubt his talents would slot easily into the Brazil team.

Extra Christmas present: Bale went home with the match ball after destroying Villa in midweek

Extra Christmas present: Bale went home with the match ball after destroying Villa in midweek

'He is good enough to play for Brazil, and it is a shame he was born in Wales,' said the Tottenham midfielder.

'I have played with a lot of good players, but Bale is one of the very best.'

Tottenham look to be facing a battle to
keep the former Southampton winger from Real's clutches, though
Villas-Boas remained defiant when asked about his free-scoring star.

Bale fan: Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho knows all about the flying Welshman

Bale fan: Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho knows all about the flying Welshman

'We recognise he is one of our major assets, but there are no release clauses, and a player of his dimension has a market value that is unattainable for most other clubs,' he said.

Worryingly for Tottenham, Real are one of a handful who could match his market value, and it seems clear their initial approach is merely the opening shot in a transfer battle they are determined to win.

Referees have to be strict at Christmas – Graham Poll

Forget about alcohol and stuffing yourself… referees have to reign it in at Christmas

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UPDATED:

12:16 GMT, 25 December 2012

Christmas is the time to relax and spend time with friends, eat a little too much and have a drink or two.

Then, perhaps, on Boxing Day pop down to watch the local team, allow the fresh air to clear your head and get ready for more food and drink… unless you are a professional referee.

How would you fancy a greatly shortened Christmas Day, with no alcohol and not too many sausage rolls or much turkey and then saying goodbye to your family to drive 200 miles to a hotel where you spend Christmas night on your own

Hold it: Referees are not allowed to tuck in with abandon at Christmas

Hold it: Referees are not allowed to tuck in with abandon at Christmas

At least players have their team-mates with them and travel together.

I remember being appointed to Middlesbrough v Liverpool on Boxing Day 1998 when we had two very young children and found it incredibly difficult to leave them – just to be abused by fans at The Riverside!

My mood wasn’t improved by a telephone call on the way home appointing me to another Premier League game on 28th with a long journey, after being promised the day off.

There was also the game on Boxing Day 1994 when I certainly didn’t have the Christmas spirit at The Dell, cautioning 11 and sending one off in a feisty encounter between Southampton and Wimbledon.

Fortunately this year not too many referees appear to have to travel on Christmas evening and those who do are not fathers of very young children.

Referees happily accept this very different Christmas to serve the game they love, not that the fans appreciate that of course and no doubt they will still get their share of abuse from the terraces.

Personality: Phil Dowd is liked by the players

Personality: Phil Dowd is liked by the players

Fulham v Southampton
Referee Phil Dowd G12, YC34, RC2

Assistants: S Child & L Betts

4th Official: D Coote

Phil Dowd, who oversaw Chelsea’s 8-0 demolition of Aston Villa, returns to West London from his home in The Potteries for Southampton’s visit to Fulham.

Those who watch Dowd a lot often remark on his shape being less than athletic.

Having trained with him I can assure them that he is fit and you don’t need to be a racehorse to referee at the very top level.

His
personality shines through when he referees and is generally
appreciated by players, even when he is awarding two penalties against
them when trailing by 6 goals!

This on paper should be another relatively low key game but one which both teams will think they can win and so will have its moments and the crowd at Craven Cottage are never the most referee friendly.

Norwich City v Chelsea
Referee: Jon Moss G9, YC25, RC1

Assistants: P Kirkup & D Bryan

4th Official: A Madley

Jon Moss is another who will be staying in an hotel, The Holiday Inn at Norwich, before Boxing Day’s game at Carrow Road as his journey from West Yorkshire is too far to leave until match day.

Moss goes into his 10th Premier League game of the season well aware that many felt he should have awarded Wigan a couple of penalties for hand ball against Arsenal on Saturday and will do well not to award a ‘soft’ spot kick in this game.

However hard you try to block out the last game there is always some effect, especially when the games come as close together as they do over the Christmas period.

Penalty doubts: Jon Moss knows he could have given Wigan some spot kicks

Penalty doubts: Jon Moss knows he could have given Wigan some spot kicks

Arsenal v West Ham United
Referee: Andre Marriner G10, YC38, RC0

Assistants: M Mullarkey & D Cann

4th Official: L Probert

Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspur
Referee: Mark Clattenburg G9, YC34, RC4

Assistants: S Ledger & M McDonough

4th Official: A Taylor

Everton v Wigan Athletic
Referee: Lee Mason G11, YC36, RC0

Assistants: A Garratt & S Massey

4th Official: M Oliver

Manchester United v Newcastle United
Referee: Mike Dean G12, YC44, RC1

Assistants: J Collin & J Brooks

4th Official: N Swarbrick

Queens Park Rangers v West Bromwich Albion
Referee: Chris Foy G12, YC20, RC0

Assistants: S Beck & H Lennard

4th Official: A Davies

Reading v Swansea City
Referee: Mike Jones G11, YC41, RC1

Assistants: R Ganfield & M Wilkes

4th Official: D Phillips

Stoke City v Liverpool

Referee: Howard Webb G13, YC48, RC2

Assistants: S Burt & D England

4th Official – D Drysdale

Sunderland v Manchester City
Referee: Kevin Friend G10, YC38, RC1

Assistants: A Halliday & G Beswick

4th Official: K Wright