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Live - Premier League

Everton 1-4 Arsenal (1715 GMT)

Birmingham 1-1 Fulham

Chelsea 2-1 Newcastle
Portsmouth 0-1 Middlesbrough
Sunderland 3-1 Bolton
Tottenham 6-4 Reading
West Ham 2-1 Man Utd
Wigan 1-2 Aston Villa


To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Jonathan Stevenson

1922: Well, it's time for me to say goodbye. I cannot thank you all enough for your banter today, it really has been a rollercoaster of emotion for all of us. I'm going to leave you with one of the many kind messages we have been sent after the untimely death of Motherwell captain Phil O'Donnell earlier this evening. Take care and happy new year to all of you...

"Just a closing note to say, no matter what the score at Goodison... thoughts and prayers to Phil O'Donnell's friends and family."
richie4eva1 on 606

1920: "Cheese really missed out today. You tell her, Stevo."
ElSquirrel on 606

1916: Player Rater update...
Everton v Arsenal:
High - Tomas Rosicky 7.79; Low - Nicklas Bendtner 5.07

1912: A fractious game ends and after a truly memorable day of Premier League action, the Gunners climb back to the top of the division. Everton stay sixth, but they have been joined on 33 points by Aston Villa.

1911: FULL-TIME Everton 1-4 Arsenal

1909: GOAL Everton 1-4 Arsenal
Toying so much that they bag a fourth with seconds to spare. Emmanuel Adebayor goes on one of his winding runs, lays the ball off to Abou Diaby, who finds Tomas Rosicky 12 yards out, the Czech midfielder firing past a helpless Tim Howard and into the corner.

1909: Arsenal are toying with Everton as the game draws to a close.

1906: There will be four minutes of stoppage time at Goodison Park.

1904: Cesc Fabregas is taken off by Arsene Wenger. He applauds the Gunners fans and nods his head at the jeering from the Everton supporters.

1902: Cesc Fabregas is booked for a foul on Steven Pienaar. Mathieu Flamini is then cautioned for failing to retreat for the free-kick. It's all happening.

Mikel Arteta
is the next man to go and it is a straight red, for an alleged elbow on fellow Spaniard Cesc Fabregas. Cesc has made a lot of it, but Arteta should not be raising his elbows like that, it's so needless.

1857: Joleon Lescott rises high to meet a Mikel Arteta free-kick from the left but he can only send the ball over the bar.

1855: GOAL Everton 1-3 Arsenal
He won't be fuming now. Everton suffer meltdown, another long ball forward is allowed to bounce dangerously and Joseph Yobo and Tim Howard dither, letting Emmanuel Adebayor - just on for Eduardo da Silva - nip the ball through Howard's legs and giving him an easy tap-in. David Moyes will be fuming for sure after that calamity.

1854: Ridiculous news from the touchline. Arsenal were waiting for about three minutes to take Nicklas Bendtner off, but the fourth official's microphone to the referee did not work. Wenger must be fuming.

1853: Andrew Johnson goes close to heading an equaliser before Mikel Arteta tees up Lee Carsley on the edge of the box, but the midfielder's effort is tame and easily gathered by Manuel Almunia.

Nicklas Bendtner
is sent off for his second yellow card and the young Dane can have few complaints. It is a shocking, knee-high lunge at Andrew Johnson and means Arsenal have about 15 minutes to hang on with 10 men.

1849: "Does he mean Pirlo?"
Anonymous, via text

Trust me, I wish I was mates with Andrea Pirlo. But I've had to settle for Pearlo.

1847: Everton bring on Andrew Johnson for Tony Hibbert.

1845: "Pearlo is proud to get a mention. Spurs are the great entertainers once again. Not enjoying Arsenal though."
Love Pearlo, via text

Sorry I didn't ring you back last week pal. Hope you had a good Christmas and enjoyed today's remarkable events!

1842: Eduardo da Silva is booked for using his arm trying to complete his hat-trick.

1841: Everton, having had a shocking start to the second half, begin to threaten and Tim Cahill, with nine goals already this season, just fails to get proper contact at the back post.

1840: Thanks for all your kind words about Phil O'Donnell. I'm sure such support from the whole football family will provide great comfort to his family and the people of Motherwell at this tragic time.

1839: "When a tragedy occurs on a football pitch like it did today at Motherwell, everything else is brought into perspective. Our emotions regarding the game have no significance when something like this happens."
Kanu's Tribal Dance on 606

1836: "RIP Phil O' Donnell. We're thinking of you."
Piyush371 on 606

1834: GOAL Everton 1-2 Arsenal
Eduardo da Silva gets the better of Everton defender Phil Jagielka again and the Brazilian-born Croatia striker keeps his cool brilliantly to slot past Tim Howard.

1833: Yakubu heads a great chance wide.

1832: I'd like to pause just for a minute to tell you some heartbreaking news from the Scottish Premier League today. Motherwell chairman Bill Dickie has just confirmed their captain Phil O'Donnell has died at the age of 35 after collapsing during their game against Dundee United. All our thoughts and wishes go to O'Donnell's family and Motherwell at this terrible time.

1827: "I won't moan, Man City will be top six come New Year, miles better than last year. Cheer up everyone, it's Christmas."
Ash, via text

1823: GOAL Everton 1-1 Arsenal
Well now I really have seen everything. Arsenal go route one - I'll say it again, Arsenal go route one, Gael Clichy pumping a 50-yard ball downfield, Phil Jagielka misses the ball, Eduardo da Silva chests it down and has time to deliberate before poking it past Tim Howard. What a teamtalk from Wenger!

1821: The second half is under way at Goodison Park.

1816: There are a lot of people moaning about their team's fortunes today on the texts (81111) and on 606. I'm going to join you all. Forest lost 3-0 at Gillingham and even though we're still second, I'm not happy. Still, at least I don't have to watch our humiliation on Match of the Day tonight. Or for a very long time to come, I'd imagine.

1814: "Why do we find it so hard to win up north? Why is Wenger trying to turn Diaby into a left-winger, it's stupid. We have no natural left-winger. Rubbish."
Anonymous via text

1808: Player Rater update...
Everton v Arsenal:
High - Tim Cahill 7.50; Low - Nicklas Bendtner 5.42

1805: HALF-TIME Everton 1-0 Arsenal

1802: It is pouring down with rain at Goodison Park and Arsene Wenger might feel like the sky is falling in on Arsenal's season if the Gunners cannot rescue a point from this one.

1801: "Should have been a booking for the Yak. Disgraceful attempt to win a penalty."
delboy6568 on 606

1757: Yakubu tries to power his way into the penalty area but he falls down rather theatrically under challenge from Kolo Toure. Nothing given from referee Martin Atkinson, good decision.

1754: "Jonathan Stevenson, are you obliged to answer the following question? Why are Liverpool shown last, even after the most boring games? Does the BBC have some sort of vendetta against Liverpool, or is 'saving the best 'til last' applicable?"
Dinheiro Não Pode Comprar Futebol Bonito on 606

No, I'm not obliged. But frankly, what a load of rubbish. How the hell can the BBC be anti-Liverpool with the likes of Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson two of our major pundits? Have a word with yourself son.

1751: This isn't like Arsenal. They have not found anything like their flowing football yet and Kolo Toure smashes in a hopeful shot from 30 yards that deflects wide. Very, very un-Arsenal.

1748: Mikel Arteta turns inside Alex Hleb down the Everton right but he is denied a free-kick as he goes down under the Belarussian's challenge. Replays appear to show the Spaniard dived - naughty, naughty.

1747: News just in, the running order for MOTD...

Tottenham v Reading
West Ham v Manchester United
Everton v Arsenal
Chelsea v Newcastle
Sunderland v Bolton
Wigan v Aston Villa
Portsmouth v Middlesbrough
Birmingham v Fulham

1742: OK, Euro 2008 hasn't been cancelled. But you know what I mean. For the record, I'm supporting Spain, partly cos my mate Pearlo reckons they'll always bottle it in major tournaments. Want my one to watch - Andres Iniesta. Technically one of the most gifted footballers on earth.

1740: Young Nicklas Bendtner is not enjoying this rare league start for the Gunners. He is booked for a clumsy lunge on Joseph Yobo.

1739: "I can only imagine the relationship between Almunia and Lehmann as being similar to Road Runner and Wile E Coyote's."
KC, Essex via text

1736: GOAL Everton 1-0 Arsenal
I knew this game wouldn't let us down. A Mikel Arteta corner is flicked on inadvertently by Bacary Sagna, Nicklas Bendtner fails to clear at the far post and Tim Cahill pokes home the opener.

1733: Kolo Toure goes down now in the Arsenal box and it looks as though it could have been something thrown by someone in the crowd. Will let you know when we find out more on that one. Toure gets up and he looks OK.

1730: "Haha I agree the Premier League offers the best entertainment, but I think we need to look at these high scoring games - is it down to the Prem having the best attacking players, or the worst defenders?"
liver_lally on 606

Without writing an essay about it, I think you've got a point. The fact is the Spurs game today was so ludicrously fast that mistakes are inevitable and at this level, they get punished. There are some brilliant forwards plying their trade in England, but we should be worried about the technical level of our football sometimes.

1728: Manuel Almunia claims a cross from the left expertly, but he falls heavily to the ground and needs treatment. Jens Lehmann, who looks even more permanently disgusted with life than he did before he was dropped, begins to get ready on the touchline. But Almunia can carry on for now.

1725: "Poor effort from most Portsmouth players - especially Kanu - tallest man on the pitch and can't win a header. Hughes, Distin, Taylor and James are the only ones who turned up. Bring on the African Nations Cup. Those in the Fratton End who booed Gary O'Neill and the team need to 'do one'."
Nicola via text

1723: "If Everton beat an understrength Arsenal team and Liverpool win their two games in hand, the top four will be on 45, 44, 42 and 41 points respectively. Has there ever been closer top four at the halfway stage of the Premiership?"
Anonymous via text

Anyone? I haven't got a clue. Could be a stunning 2008 though - good job with no Euros!

1721: Arsenal look lively, far more so already than they did at Portsmouth on Boxing Day. Nicklas Bendtner and Eduardo da Silva are linking up nicely up front.

1720: "The difference was up front. We didn't have the thrust that Villa had. Ashley Young looked very lively."
Wigan manager Steve Bruce

1716: Under way at Everton.

1715: Re: 1406 - My girlfriend has passed out, Walsall have won - just Everton to win now and I don't know about the pier!"
Tom, Aberystwyth, via text

1713: The teams are out at Goodison Park. After 26 goals in seven games so far today, are we in for another festive feast?

1708: "Looks like Wenger wants to lose as well as Fergie!! Why do managers put out worse teams away?? These games are harder!"
Jols Barber on 606

1706: "How can we (Reading) score four goals away from home twice this season and still not win? It beggars belief! At least we entertain."
ArniePie on 606

1704: Sam (1659), you're damn right MOTD will be worth tuning into tonight - I'm expecting record viewing figures after the carnage of this afternoon. It's on BBC ONE at 2230 GMT, in case you missed the plug earlier.

1702: TEAM NEWS Everton v Arsenal
Everton make one change, with Thomas Gravesen out with a knee injury, Tony Hibbert returns to the team at right-back and Phil Neville switches to midfield. Arsenal start with Tomas Rosicky and Emmanuel Adebayor on the bench - with Emmanuel Eboue rested altogether. Abou Diaby and Eduardo da Silva come in, along with Nicklas Bendtner.

1659: "Tottenham is my religion, Berbatov is my God. What a game! Worth tuning into Match of the Day tonight! Everton and the Gunners have a lot to live up to!"
Sam via text

1656: FULL-TIME Sunderland 3-1 Bolton

1656: FULL-TIME Portsmouth 0-1 Middlesbrough

1654: GOAL Sunderland 3-1 Bolton
Points in the bag now for the Mackems, with Daryl Murphy latching on to an Andy Cole flick on, holding off a defender and rifling home. Massive win for the Black Cats this.

1654: FULL-TIME Birmingham 1-1 Fulham

1653: FULL-TIME Tottenham 6-4 Reading

1653: FULL-TIME West Ham 2-1 Manchester United

1652: FULL-TIME Wigan 1-2 Aston Villa

1651: FULL-TIME Chelsea 2-1 Newcastle

1649: "Can I ask you to call me an idiot for selling my ticket to the Spurs-Reading game? Also, funny how Berbatov is good as the transfer window approaches!"
A sad Spurs fan via text

You idiot.

1647: "My heart is going mental! Gotta love supporting Spurs. Who needs a defence when you have Berbatov?"
Anonymous, via text

1645: "Is this real? Or are you just messing around with my head? I think you are just adding goals for the hell of it!"
Anonymous, via text

My hands are actually burning. Do you think I'd want to make this up?

1643: GOAL Chelsea 2-1 Newcastle
The Blues look like they have snatched a last-gasp win, but Newcastle will not be happy. Mikel Jon Obi's shot hits Claudio Pizarro and falls to Salomon Kalou, who must be offside surely, to knock the ball past Shay Given. Heartbreak for the visitors.

1642: GOAL Tottenham 6-4 Reading
Er, Dimitar Berbatov slams in his fourth goal of a crazy afternoon at Spurs.

1640: GOAL West Ham 2-1 Manchester United
What an amazing comeback from the Hammers. Mark Noble clips in a free-kick from the right and Matthew Upson towers above the United defence to power home what could be a winner.

Hameur Bouazza
is sent off for Fulham at Birmingham for his second bookable offence.

1637: GOAL Tottenham 5-4 Reading
Are you surprised? Really? Spurs are awarded a penalty when Ibrahima Sonko fouls Robbie Keane and although Keane's spot-kick is saved by Marcus Hahnemann, Jermain Defoe (who looked miles inside the area when the kick was taken) heads in the rebound from close range.

1636: GOAL West Ham 1-1 Manchester United
Anton Ferdinand scores with yet another header from yet another corner on this remarkable afternoon of Premier League football.

1634: GOAL Tottenham 4-4 Reading
But with the next attack, Spurs are level again! Oh my. Tom Huddlestone finds Steed Malbranque in the penalty area and the Frenchman rifles a shot into the far corner to haul Juande Ramos' side back into it. Frankly, I'm gobsmacked.

1633: GOAL Tottenham 3-4 Reading
What scenes these are from White Hart Lane. Dave Kitson is sent clean through and he keeps his cool to clip the ball expertly over Paul Robinson and put Reading back in front...

1631: GOAL Tottenham 3-3 Reading
Dimitar Berbatov completes his hat-trick, skipping past a couple of challenges and burying the ball past Marcus Hahnemann.

1630: GOAL Wigan 1-2 Aston Villa
Great jinking run from Ashley Young as he skips past two Wigan defenders before he cuts the ball back for Gabriel Agbonlahor, who flicks a header past Chris Kirkland. Great run, great goal, great Villa recovery. No wonder this is a team that was last beaten away from home at the end of August.

1629: Michael Owen comes on for Obafemi Martins. What price the England striker to bag a winner at Stamford Bridge?

1628: GOAL Tottenham 2-3 Reading
Oh my goodness me. Seriously, are there any defenders out there? Nicky Shorey whips in another corner from the right, Dave Kitson gets there first and heads into the roof of the net past Paul Robinson. Oh, Spurs.

1626: MISSED PENALTY West Ham 0-1 Manchester United
I've seen everything now. Cristiano Ronaldo drags his penalty wide of Robert Green's right-hand post and West Ham are still right in this game.

1625: PENALTY Jonathan Spector handles a cross on the edge of the box and the referee points to the spot at Upton Park.

1623: "West Ham are outplaying United."
Charlie, 14, at Upton Park, via text

1621: GOAL Tottenham 2-2 Reading
What were you saying Chris??!! Spurs are level and Graeme Murty, hang your head in shame. The full-back mis-kicks his clearance straight to Dimitar Berbatov eight yards out and the Bulgarian rifles the ball into the roof of the net. Game on.

1620: "Spurs never do the easy things! We will never be taken seriously with performances like this!"
Chris, London, via text

1615: GOAL Birmingham 1-1 Fulham
Sebastian Larsson gets the Blues back on level terms, cutting in from the left and firing in a shot which is heavily deflected and spins wickedly past poor Antti Niemi.

1614: GOAL Wigan 1-1 Aston Villa
What has happened to the basics of defending today? Alan Hansen will have a field day tonight. Another header from a corner, this time Curtis Davies rising to powerfully head Villa level, from a Gareth Barry corner.

1611: GOAL Chelsea 1-1 Newcastle
The visitors equalise in bizarre fashion. Charles N'Zogbia's cross is flicked on by Obafemi Martins and although Nicky Butt tried to force the ball home from close range, it was actually Wayne Bridge who got the last touch - backheeling the ball over the line.

1611: GOAL Tottenham 1-2 Reading
More woe for Spurs keeper Paul Robinson who fails to claim a Nicky Shorey corner and Ivar Ingimarsson is on hand to nod the ball home. Total turnaround at the Lane.

1609: "I'm also in a state of shock. Blades lost again and our lass has returned home from the sales empty handed!"
Rich, Sheffield, via text

1602: They are back out at Chelsea and Nicky Butt nearly puts through his own net, forcing a great tip over from Shay Given.

1556: Now then, some Player Rater chat. Bear with me...

Birmingham v Fulham:
High - Liam Ridgewell & Gary McSheffrey (8.00) Low - Radhi Jaidi (2.0)

Chelsea v Newcastle:
High - Obafemi Martins (7.60) Low - Habib Beye (5.09)
Portsmouth v Boro:
High - Tuncay (8.78) Low - Lee Dong-Gook (5.22)
Sunderland v Bolton:
High - Kenwyne Jones (8.71) Low - Joey O'Brien (3.50)
Tottenham v Reading:
High - Dimitar Berbatov (8.84) Low - Younes Kaboul (5.39)
West Ham v Manchester United:
High - Cristiano Ronaldo (8.68) Low - Lucas Neill (4.44)
Wigan v Aston Villa:
High - Marcus Bent (8.40) Low - Mario Melchiot (5.00)

1555: "I'm in a state of shock."
boro4lifeAKA cena-rules on 606

1553: Tell you what - those Sunderland and Gunnarsson errors got you going, didn't they? What, you expect me to be error-less? No chance. Still, thanks for all your sarcastic comments. They don't half make the afternoon go by quicker...

1552: "Thank God I'm not a betting man, Bairdo and Dan. That Fulham away goal could have cost me my 'novelty' socks and juicer."
Marc, via text

1551: Half-time in this afternoon's seven Premier League games.

1548: Robbie Keane misses a great chance for Spurs right at the end of the half. Ivar Ingimarsson's slip lets in Dimitar Berbatov, who steers the ball across goal, but Keane is unable to connect.

1544: GOAL Sunderland 2-1 Bolton
El-Hadji Diouf pulls one back for Bolton and Sunderland will be furious - it's a harmless-looking 25-yard free-kick floated across the box that drifts in, seemingly via the arm of Paul McShane. Sloppy from Keano's boys.

1543: Carlton Cole heads a Mark Noble cross over when he should have done better. The Hammers are giving Man Utd a stern test - when will Dean Ashton come on I wonder?

1542: Obafemi Martins is put away down the inside left channel, but the out-of-sorts Nigerian takes a couple of touches and fires hopelessly wide from 20 yards.

1538: "I'll take that offer Dan (1533) and I'll raise you a PlayStation."
Bairdo, via text

1536: Nolberto Solano goes close to a leveller at Upton Park, but his swerving 30-yard piledriver is tipped acrobatically over the bar by Tomasz Kuszczak.

1535: GOAL Sunderland 2-0 Bolton
Kenwyne Jones doubles Roy Keane's side's advantage with a thumping header from a Kieran Richardson corner. He gets his somersault out to celebrate.

1533: "Regarding my comment (1233), as we're now 1-0 down I'll up my offer to £300 of presents, a holiday and a ticket to the next game for a home goal!"
Dan, via text

1531: "Tevez is running about like a headless chicken. 26 minutes gone and he's had about six touches. All the hype about him destroying West Ham has left him with egg on his face so far."
jpalongo on 606

1529: GOAL Wigan 1-0 Aston Villa
Defender Titus Bramble scores his first goal for the Latics, heading home powerfully from a Ryan Taylor corner from the left.

1527: GOAL Chelsea 1-0 Newcastle
Michael Essien
puts the hosts in front and it's a slightly fortuitous goal, Shaun Wright-Phillips' scuffed shot hitting Salomon Kalou and Essien reacting quickest to slot the ball home.

1525: "I wish Richardson luck with Sunderland, he never had the correct attitude with United but had the potential, hopefully Keane will instill the attitude into him to bring out the player he could've been."
Welcome to Old Trafford... on 606

1521: GOAL Portsmouth 0-1 Middlesbrough
Tuncay steals in to open the scoring for the visitors, after David James had saved Gary O'Neil's effort from the right. Against the run of play, that one.

1520: Sorry for those technical problems. Trust me, I have been updating it. It's just that someone didn't want you to see it. Some of you are so aggressive, honestly.

1520: "I've been banned from betting by the missus and would have put a tenner on Ronaldo to score first goal."
Steve, Wakefield, via text

1519: Salomon Kalou tests Shay Given from Juliano Belletti's pull-back as Chelsea look to come forward.

1516: GOAL Tottenham 1-1 Reading
Reading equalise against the run of play. Keeper Paul Robinson can only punch Nicky Shorey's long free-kick to the feet of Kalifa Cisse, who fires home from 20 yards out.

1515: GOAL Sunderland 1-0 Bolton
Big goal for the Black Cats, Kenwyne Jones dancing through some tackles before teeing up Kieran Richardson, the former Man Utd midfielder tucking it away nicely.

1514: GOAL West Ham 0-1 Manchester United
Who else? That man Cristiano Ronaldo scores again, getting his head on to a Ryan Giggs cross from the left and directing the ball past Robert Green.

1513: "I agree with Tony's prediction of 3-1 to Spurs (see 1501). Tell him I've been fishing for just under an hour and have a 26lb carp to show for it!"
Gedd, Kent, via text

1511: John Carew has limped off at Wigan, the Aston Villa striker getting injured in a tackle with Paul Scharner and being replaced by Luke Moore.

1509: GOAL Birmingham 0-1 Fulham
Carlos Bocanegra scores an easy goal, ghosting into the near post to head home a Simon Davies corner with the Birmingham defence missing.

1508: What a chance for West Ham. Hayden Mullins hits the angle of post and bar from four yards and then Mark Noble lashes the rebound volley wide - both players should have scored.

1507: GOAL Tottenham 1-0 Reading
Dimitar Berbatov puts Spurs into a deserved early lead, slotting in from six yards after Robbie Keane knocked the ball across goal.

1505: All the action from Birmingham so far. Gary McSheffrey bursts through but lifts his shot miles over the bar from eight yards. Could be 1-1 already.

1503: David Healy fires wide just 10 seconds in at St Andrews. Someone's trying to impress new boss Roy Hodgson, anyway.

1501: "I predict a 3-1 Spurs win today, which will bring me much excitment as I have been sitting on a riverbank for six hours and caught nothing."
Tony, Bury via text

1500: All systems go.

1459: Carlos Tevez gets a rapturous ovation from the West Ham fans and he acknowledges their acclaim.

1458: Teams are coming out across the country and we are about to get in the mixer. Strap yourselves in...

1456: Chelsea addition: Injuries to Petr Cech and Carlo Cudicini mean the Blues have untried 17-year-old Wales Under-21 international goalkeeper Rhys Taylor on the bench as their only back-up to Hilario.

1454: TEAM NEWS Portsmouth v Middlesbrough
Portsmouth restore John Utaka to the starting line-up but are still without Glen Johnson, Noe Pamarot and Pedro Mendes. Richard Hughes continues in place of Sulley Muntari. Middlesbrough make four changes - former Pompey man Gary O'Neil replaces George Boateng, Robert Huth comes in for David Wheater and Egyptian Mohamed Shawky and South Korean Dong-Gook Lee are given rare starts.

1451: TEAM NEWS Chelsea v Newcastle
Chelsea make seven changes with Hilario, John Mikel Obi, Michael Ballack, Wayne Bridge, Tal Ben-Haim, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Juliano Belletti coming in. Michael Owen is on the bench for Newcastle after six weeks out, while Geremi, Emre and Mark Viduka make way for Nicky Butt, Claudio Cacapa and Obafemi Martins.

1450: TEAM NEWS Tottenham v Reading
Jermaine Jenas starts for Spurs after recovering from an ankle problem. There is no place in the squad for Darren Bent. Kalifa Cisse plays for Reading in place of the suspended Brynjar Gunnarsson.

1448: TEAM NEWS Birmingham v Fulham
Birmingham are unchanged but Fulham caretaker-boss Ray Lewington makes five changes in his final match in charge before Roy Hodgson takes over. Elliott Omozusi, Dejan Stefanovic, Steven Davis, Hameur Bouazza and David Healy all come into the starting line-up.

1446: TEAM NEWS Wigan Athletic v Aston Villa
Wigan are unchanged from the side that beat Newcastle 1-0. Just one change for Aston Villa as Curtis Davies comes in for Zat Knight, who was sent off in the 4-4 draw at Chelsea. More of the same please.

1442: Wayne Rooney, I can confirm, has a virus - probably the same one that has ruled Michael Carrick out of the trip to Upton Park too.

1439: TEAM NEWS Sunderland v Bolton
Roy Keane has named strikers Andy Cole, Michael Chopra and Kenwyne Jones in his Sunderland side, while Liam Miller returns from suspension and Kieran Richardson starts for the first time since August. Bolton make two changes to the side that lost at Everton - Jlloyd Samuel replacing Danny Guthrie with Ricardo Gardner moving up to left midfield, and Gavin McCann coming in for Ivan Campo.

1431: "I love the green opal fruits! Almost as much as I love Robbie Savage, El-Hadji Diouf, and Emmanuel Eboue."
Scouse Sam, via text

1428: TEAM NEWS West Ham v Manchester United
West Ham striker Dean Ashton is dropped to the bench and midfielder Mark Noble replaces him in the starting line-up. Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is not in the squad as Carlos Tevez starts against his former club with Louis Saha his partner in attack. Ryan Giggs, Owen Hargreaves and Patrice Evra return.

mdfactor on 606


1422: "Dangerous stuff this. My mate went to his sister's house to find a Chelsea shirt on the radiator, in a kids size. He went on a mighty rant, telling his nephew off for going to Man Utd games yet owning a Chelsea top. He wouldn't let the poor kid get a word in edgeways. Eventually he ripped the top in two and binned it to teach the kid a lesson. Just then his sister pointed out that it was his mates top, who had been for tea and spilt blackcurrant on it, so she'd washed it before it stained. My mate had to go and stump up for a new Chelsea top. He still moans about it now!"
Vickan Svensson on 606

1419: "Man Utd to win with Tevez providing the goals and getting a yellow card for going to celebrate with the wrong fans."
Barry via text

1416: More team news and West Ham leave Dean Ashton on the bench for the visit of Manchester United. The leaders leave Wayne Rooney out of their 16.

1413: "As an adult Jules shouldn't care that much. Don't think its the Norwich hatred, more that no one likes the yellow and green Starburst!"
Adrian, Norwich, via text

Trust me Adrian, it's the Norwich hatred. Also, never call it Starburst.

1412: Reading's team bus is stuck in traffic. They haven't arrived at White Hart Lane yet, but they are expected to at 1415 GMT. According to BBC Radio 5 Live, they have texted their team in. You couldn't make it up.

1411: Preliminary team news coming in and there's some good stuff. Chelsea leave out Petr Cech and Andriy Shevchenko and Avram Grant hands the captain's armband to Michael Ballack.

1409: "Jono, you are right. I blame the parents. Not only is he called Troy but he's got a mobile phone at 11. You might as well support Juve for all the games you'll get to kiddo."
Gary, via text

1408: "I don't think Troy will be able to use a wooden horse to get out of this one."
NUFC_FAN_2007 on 606

1406: "Today's bets - Walsall and Everton to win, my girlfriend to be drunk by 1501 GMT and the pier here in Aberystwyth to succumb to the high winds and higher tide!"
Tom, via text

1404: "Tottenham are on the up with Juande Ramos at the helm. Expect another home win today against Reading - 3-0. Happy new year to you Jonathan and Caroline."
Anonymous, via text

Thanks anonymous. Thanks a million. Happy new year to you too, I'm sure Cheese will send her belated regards when she next decides to come in.

1403: (See 1357) "Oh dear. And there's no way this guy's 11-and-a-half either, no kid says 'my oh my'.
U8578980 on 606

1400: My colleague Mandeep just passed around the Opal Fruits (yeah, I know). Our gaffer for the day, Jules, requested one that wasn't yellow or green. This is because she hates Norwich. As an adult, should she care that much?

1357: "My oh my. I'm heading to Upton Park to watch Tevez play for the wonderful Red Devils. I was a West Ham supporter last year."
Troy, aged 11-and-a-half, via text

Troy my son, I think we're gonna get a few texts and emails about you.

1354: "Makes you blush thinking about it (see 1331), a robot celebrating a goal like Peter Crouch."
Jeffers in Calvi, France, via text

1351: Roy Keane's Sunderland entertain Bolton and it's a massive afternoon for the Black Cats. A win could take them out of the relegation zone and would move them on to the same points as their opponents. "It's a big test for the players and hopefully they will come through with flying colours," said Keane.

1347: "In The Central on the Barking Road, the Mancs are here - real ones with proper northern accents, not the prawn sandwich brigade. Today's game is gonna be tasty. Come on the Irons!!"
Gary via text

1345: "Stevo, every bet including a win for Nottingham Forest is a bit lame, don't you think?"
ToastedWelshy on 606

You obviously haven't been following the Reds for the last 27 years like I have then mate!

1343: And what will become of Aston Villa after their unbelievable game at Chelsea on Boxing Day. Tell you what - they'll be showing that game for years, extraordinary stuff from the Bridge. "It was a magnificent effort but we will need the same against Wigan," said boss Martin O'Neill.

1341: Tottenham playing host to Reading is another intriguing game today. Spurs are on a bit of a roll and will go 12th if they win, while Reading have moved away from the danger zone in recent weeks. "I don't care where they are in the table, they are a top five club," said Royals boss Steve Coppell on his team's opponents.

1337: "I have got £400 on Tranmere Rovers to beat Cheltenham 3-0 with Calvin Zola to score the first on 17 minutes, Jennings on 76 minutes and Greenacre on 87 minutes. When I win I am getting £10,000 back!"
Greenacre's Right Toe Nail hair on 606

Loving that confidence. Makes my bet look pathetic, frankly.

1334: "'Sir Sir Les?' Get your coat Stevo."
Turn The Page on 606


1331: "Hey - the way technology is moving fast, I think in the future robots will be the football players."
alpeshgujjar on 606

That might just start an interesting debate. Then again, it might not. Keep your thoughts coming by texting 81111. I especially want to hear from you if you're on your way to a game today. Six days ago, I won £20 by backing Nottingham Forest to beat Port Vale 2-0 and Junior Agogo to score the first goal. Who's your money on today?

1327: "I've got £80 on Sunderland and Villa to win so I'm glad well reknowned predictor "q" is backing them both to win."
Matt M via text

1325: "If we have Anelka, Diouf and Davies all playing then we are sure to score a few goals today. 2-0 to Bolton, Nolan and Anelka."
smashingmeiterules on 606

1320: "This could be the end of Gareth Southgate today. 4-0 Pompey. New year, new Boro boss."
Dan, via text

1317: Just walked past Sir Les Ferdinand as I went to get a sandwich from one of the few places open at Television Centre today. Which made me think, if he had been knighted in the New Year Honours list, would he be Sir Sir Les?

1304: "SamP (1255) - it's a bit early to be drunk isn't it?"
Soulja Boy Craig Curran (OSC) on 606

1259: For the record, Lawro reckons Pompey will break their duck and win 2-0 today. Our master tipster is also banking on wins for Birmingham, Chelsea, Sunderland, Tottenham, Manchester United and Aston Villa.

1255: "I fancy a 3-0 demolition of Chelsea by the Toon today - why not? We always perform against bigger sides and plus I got nothing for Christmas so it's only fair."
SamP via text

1251: Dave, don't give up just yet pal. Pompey haven't scored in 450 minutes (seven-and-a-half of your English hours) of Premier League football at Fratton Park, since Sulley Muntari struck from the spot in stoppage time in their ridiculous 7-4 win over Reading on 29 September.

1249: "Pompey haven't scored at home for how long? They will today, merry Christmas from all at the Boro."
Dave, Middlesbrough, via text

1247: (See 1236) "Be nice to see Avram Grant throw another keeper behind Cech as well as his support just in case."
Gary in Kent, via text

1244: I know it's not Premier League, but Sheffield United and Crystal Palace are all set to kick off in the Championship at Bramall Lane - Neil Warnock's first return to the ground since he left after they were relegated in the summer. Should be a lively one, that.

1242: If q is right, we are in for a lively afternoon folks. And probably a lively Match of the Day tonight, too. I'm sure you've all checked your TV guides already in anticipation, but in case anyone's forgotten, Gary Lineker and the boys are on BBC One at 2230 GMT tonight. It's not even optional, is it?

1239: Predictions from q on 606:
Birmingham 2-0 Fulham
Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle
Portsmouth 2-0 Middlesbrough
Sunderland 2-1 Bolton
Tottenham 3-2 Reading
West Ham 1-5 Man Utd
Wigan 1-3 Aston Villa
Everton 2-4 Arsenal

1236: Good to see Chelsea boss Avram Grant throwing his support behind goalkeeper Petr Cech, despite his shocking error against Aston Villa on Boxing Day. "Petr is a great goalkeeper, maybe the best in the world for me. He is very strong mentally," enthused Grant.

1233: "I've got a holiday paid for and about £200 of Christmas presents, but I'll happily trade them for a home goal from Pompey today!"
Dan, via text

1231: By texting on 81111, Gary raises a good point. Carlos Tevez, the man who almost single-handedly kept West Ham in the Premier League last season, returns to his old stomping ground with the leaders Manchester United. "Carlos kept them up - I know what league they'd be in without him," said Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

1229: Irons v Mancs is always a classic. We turned them over twice last year, can't see lightening striking twice but welcome home Carlitos!!!"
Gary via text

1226: "Yep. Caroline is blatantly skiving! I wouldnt call it well-deserved. However, her entertainment is quite fun to read while at work. Can u do any better Stevo??"
Sunil, Bedford, via text

Tell you what Sunil me ol' mucker, I'll let you be the judge of that.

1224: "I think this is the best time for Everton to play Arsenal. They are on a good run of form and Arsenal are suffering a bit of a blip. Everton to nick it for me... only just."
mesmerizingmaverick on 606

1222: My mate texted to say his worst pressie was a packet of midget gems. I would have happily swapped them for the vase I got from my aunt!"
Andrew in Dundee via text

1219: "Re: 1208 comment: If Ms Cheese sits in the hotseat on Tuesday, won't she melt? I love melted cheese!"
zany_ninja on 606

1217: Are you on your way to St Andrews, Stamford Bridge, Fratton Park, the Stadium of Light, White Hart Lane, Upton Park, the JJB Stadium or Goodison Park? If so, get in touch by texting your news and views on 81111.

1214: First things first, football-wise. You've probably noticed that Fulham have plumped for ex-Blackburn and Inter Milan manager Roy Hodgson as their new boss. Hodgson will be in attendance at St Andrews today as his new club face Birmingham, but he will not take charge until tomorrow. Will the Cottagers put on a show for their new gaffer?

1210: "I think game of the day will be Everton v Arsenal. Wenger's men will come out on top I think. Anyway, have a nice day and send my regards to Caroline."
sunillcfcp on 606

1208: In case you hadn't noticed, your favourite Cheese and mine, Caroline, is still on her Christmas holidays. She'd say it's a well-deserved break. I'd call it lazy. But fret not, she'll be back in the hotseat on Tuesday for the first set of games in 2008.

1205: I'm Stevo and I'll be your guide throughout the afternoon's proceedings. There's no early game today, so I need you to get involved in some banter. Tell me your Christmas disaster stories. Tell me what rubbish presents you got. Tell me what your new year's resolutions are. And tell me what you think about the self-styled greatest league on earth as the action unfolds. Text me on 81111. Go on.

1203: You don't need me to tell you what today is. None of that Grand Slam Sunday chat, just a good, old-fashioned day of top-drawer Premier League action to look forward to. Eight games, and probably a whole heap of goals to go with them.

1200: Here we go again.

Barclays Premier League Table
01 February 2010 22:00
    P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 23 38 54
2 Man Utd 24 36 53
3 Arsenal 24 32 49
4 Tottenham 24 20 42

5 Liverpool 24 16 41

6 Man City 22 14 41
7 Aston Villa 23 13 40
8 Birmingham 23 -1 34
9 Everton 23 -1 32
10 Blackburn 24 -15 28
11 Fulham 23 -2 27
12 Stoke 22 -7 26
13 Sunderland 23 -10 24
14 Wigan 22 -23 22
15 West Ham 23 -9 21
16 Bolton 22 -15 21
17 Wolverhampton 23 -21 21

18 Burnley 23 -23 20
19 Hull 23 -26 20
20 Portsmouth 22 -16 15

Saturday's football photos
29 Dec 07 |  Football


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