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Page last updated at 19:47 GMT, Saturday, 13 March 2010

Saturday's football as it happened


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By Chris Bevan

1946: And that's a wrap from me. Alan Green is taking your calls on BBC Radio 5 Live's 606 right now, and you can catch all of today's Premier League action on Match of the Day at 2215 BST on BBC1 and then watch every goal from the Championship, League One and League Two in the Football League Show which is on straight afterwards at 2335 BST. Sam Lyon is on duty tomorrow for Man Utd v Fulham and Sunderland v Man City and I'll see you later in the week. Bye for now.

1942: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger's on his side's last-gasp victory over Hull City: "We started well but when we were 1-0 up we lost our focus. Straight away we were punished. At 1-1, I knew we had to battle because Hull's belief went up and we had to fight until the last seconds to get the win."

From Steve the Angry Gooner from Portsmouth, via text on 81111: "Re 1724. I might give up on predictions - seems to be a dead cert to go the other way! Still, winning scrappy is the mark of champions... Hopefully!"

From zakattack1888 on 606: "I feel like crying with joy. Bendtner you are WORLD CLASS!"

1930: So, Arsenal are joint-top of the Premier League, behind leaders Chelsea on goal-difference, but they didn't half make hard work of victory over 10-man Hull City. It was a far from vintage display by Arsene Wenger's men, but they got the three points thanks to Nicklas Bendtner's late, late winner. Hull? They battled heroically for no reward, and remain three points adrift of safety at the other end of the table. That's life, I'm afraid...

1928: FULL-TIME Hull City 1-2 Arsenal

1927: Arsenal are happy to keep possession and run down the clock, while Hull are trying to get men forward. Less than 30 seconds of injury time to go.

Arsenal goal: An absolutely priceless goal in Arsenal's title challenge. After 93 minutes, Denilson lets fly from 30 yards and Boaz Myhill can only push the ball into the path of Nicklas Bendtner, who tucks the ball away for what will surely be the winner. Hull look crushed. Arsenal are mightily relieved.

1924: GOALFLASH Hull City 1-2 Arsenal (Bendtner)

1924: Arsenal have resorted to pumping balls into the Hull area but the Tigers have too many people back in the central areas. Gael Clichy tries something different, with a pot-shot from 20 yards out, but it flies straight at Boaz Myhill - who hasn't been overworked in this game.

1922: There will be six minutes of added time at the KC Stadium. Mostly because of the injury to Hull's Kamil Zayatte, I would have thought.

From acmilandrew on Twitter: "If Hull hold on this would be an absolutely priceless point."

1920: Hull are taking their time over a throw-in near the Arsenal bye-line, and you cannot really blame them. The Tigers have done nothing with the ball for a long time now but, for them, it is far more important what they do when the Gunners are in possession. We've got one minute of normal time to go.

1917: Here's a couple of stats for you. Arsenal have scored more goal in the last 10 minutes of Premier League games this season - 14 - than any other team. Hull have conceded the most - 13. I wonder if both sets of players are aware of this?

1915: Hull's third change of the night sees Kevin Kilbane replace Jozy Altidore. Seven minutes left of the 90.

1912: At last, a clear sight of goal for Arsenal. Andrey Arshavin and Theo Walcott combine to tee up Nicklas Bendtner but, by the time the Dane controls the ball, Liam Cooper gets across to block his shot with a last-gasp tackle. The ball is deflected over. Chance gone.

From m1k3moore on Twitter: "If Arsenal don't win this then there's no chance of the League! Booking Madrid next week though!"

From Tom in London, via text on 81111: "Jimmy Bullard's hair looks a bit like my gran's."

1908: Just 15 minutes left for Arsenal to find a winner/Hull to hold on. Eduardo comes on to replace Samir Nasri... Looking at Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, I don't think he is enjoying this game very much.

1906: A change for Hull. Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink is off, and Richard Garcia is on.

1905: Hull are defending ever deeper and Arsenal's attacks seem to be incessant. They still can't find the net, though. This time, Gael Clichy's cross is headed into the path of Nicklas Bendtner, who is only six yards out but has a lot to do and can only hook his shot over the bar under pressure.

From gjcsouthsea on Twitter: "Sometimes playing against 10 is harder than 11, being a man down focuses the mind on DEFEND DEFEND DEFEND!!!"

1902: Less than 20 minutes left for Arsenal, or indeed Hull, to find a winner. You've got to say this would be a wasted opportunity for the Gunners if they are held by a Hull side that are second-bottom of the table and have been down to 10 men since just before the break.

1859: Yep, Theo Walcott is on for Emmanuel Eboue and the England winger makes an instant impact, sprinting into the box and feeding the ball across to Andrey Arshavin. The Russian is unmarked on the left-hand side of the penalty area and has time to pick his spot, but blasts the ball hopelessly over. That was a real waste.

1858: Hull break forward and Jimmy Bullard lets fly with a rasping shot that flies over the Arsenal bar. Not by much though...

1857: Theo Walcott is coming on for Arsenal.

1853: Andrey Arshavin's corner is headed over by Sol Campbell. Arsenal need to step things up a bit if they want the three points that will take them joint-top tonight.

1851: An hour gone and the Tigers are still working hard to protect their point. To be fair, they have kept Arsenal's chances in the second half to a minimum and are trying to mount attacks themselves too, rather than just defending in numbers.

1848: Liam Cooper is on for Hull to replace Kamil Zayatte.

1845: It's all going off at the KC Stadium. Hull are down to nine men while Kamil Zayatte has treatment but that doesn't stop them launching an attack and they want a free-kick when the ball bounces up and hits Sol Campbell on the arm. Referee Andre Marriner says no... and no sooner does Zayatte come back on than he is stretchered off.

From Ben_Hatfield_ on Twitter: "In games like this, Arsenal need to prove title potential - against 10 men, go on and get a few goals."

1844: Some great play by Hull's Jozy Altidore sees him advance to the edge of the Arsenal area before sliding Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink clear... but the Dutchman is offside. Still, the Tigers are soon back on the attack, until Sol Campbell wins it off Kamil Zyatte with a crunching tackle. Campbell got plenty of the ball but Zyatte is hurt, and needs treatment.

1840: Arsenal are taking the patient approach, soaking up a couple of Hull attacks and continuing to try to pass their way around the home defence. Nothing doing yet, but we've got a long way to go...

1837: Hull get the second half under way.

From Dave in York, via text on 81111: "I am a Cheltenham fan that went to our game at Burton today and left with us 4-2 down. I couldn't believe it when I was told we won 6-5! Hopefully it will kick-start our season!"

1832: Opinion seems to be, er, split on 606 about Gael Clichy's penalty/dive/slip. Most of you think there was contact and it should have been a penalty. The rest of you think it was a slip and wasn't a dive. I'd like another look at it myself...

From andikeptwalking on Twitter: "Re 1818. I don't know if it's you or me, but everyone here could see contact on Gael Clichy's left leg."

1826: Well, the good news for Hull is that they are level at half-time after a spirited first-half display against Arsenal. The bad news is that they will have to play the next 45 minutes with 10 men after George Boateng's dismissal.

1823: HALF-TIME Hull City 1-1 Arsenal

Red card
Hull red card: George Boateng was already on a yellow card, and is actually sent off for a second booking... but he could easily have been given a straight red here by Andre Marriner. Boateng gets nowhere near a bouncing ball and catches Bacary Sagna with a high, wild and frankly dangerous challenge. Luckily, Sagna is able to continue after prolonged treatment.

1819: RED CARD Hull's George Boateng

1818: Dive or no dive? It looked like one to me. Gael Clichy goes to ground in the Hull area under a challenge from George Boateng but TV replays show he definitely made the most of any contact (if there was any). Referee Andre Marriner doesn't give the penalty, but doesn't book Clichy either... so was it a dive or not?

From PW_Stone on Twitter: "Looks like Jimmy Bullard is Head and Shoulders above everyone else!"

Yellow card
1816: More work for referee Andre Marriner, after the fourth official spots a bit of off-the-ball handbags between Nicklas Bendtner and George Boateng. Both men end up in the referee's book.

Yellow card
1814: Arsene Wenger isn't happy. Andy Dawson has just gone flying in with a wild tackle on Denilson, and got a lot more of the man than the ball.

1812: Nicklas Bendtner has a shot blocked, before Andrey Arshavin lofts a first-time effort over the bar, but Hull have definitely improved since their equaliser. The Tigers are passing it around quite nicely too.

From VictorChatfield on Twitter: "Yes Jimmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyy!!!"

1805: Arsenal's turn to ask for a penalty, when Nicklas Bendtner leaps at the back post to meet Bacary Sagna's cross from the right but seems to be shoved by Bernard Mendy at the vital moment. This time, referee Andre Marriner waves play on.

Hull goal: Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink is offside when the ball loops into his path inside the area but referee Andre Marriner waves play on and the big striker is sent tumbling by Sol Campbell, who was trying to get across to cover. Marriner points to the spot and Jimmy Bullard, after a ridiculously long run-up, expertly despatches the penalty into the roof of the net. We're all-square again with half-an-hour gone.

1802: GOALFLASH Hull 1-1 Arsenal (Bullard pen)

1801: PENALTY to Hull

1800: Another disappointing effort by Jimmy Bullard, who fires in a weak free-kick from 30 yards out that fails - miserably - to get past the Arsenal wall. Still, nice hair though...

From Oli the Gunner, via text on 81111: "Re 1736. It's not easy getting paint off mud... I mean grass!"

1758: Jimmy Bullard slices a first-time shot high and wide when a corner comes out to him on the edge of the Arsenal box. Hull seem a bit short of ideas, other than trying to get the ball into the visitors' area as quickly as possible.

1755: The Tigers are living very dangerously at the moment. Andrey Arshavin feeds Bacary Sagna who turns a low ball across the face of goal from the right. Hull defender Bernard Mendy takes no chances and turns it behind for a corner, which the home side eventually clear.

1753: Hull haven't offered an awful lot in response since falling behind and they have to be careful when they come forward because Arsenal look very dangerous on the counter.

Arsenal goal: More luck than skill I think but, either way, Arsenal are ahead. Nicklas Bendtner feeds Andrey Arshavin on the edge of the area and he stumbles past two Hull defenders, with his flick hitting Bernard Mendy's heel and leaving the ball nicely placed for the Russian to fire it past Boaz Myhill and into the net.

1747: GOALFLASH Hull 0-1 Arsenal (Arshavin)

1742: West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola on his side's 4-1 defeat at Chelsea after the Hammers had made a promising start to the game at Stamford Bridge: "I think it was very good for 65 minutes but as soon as we conceded the second goal it was too hard for us. I saw the boys go flat because they had expended so much energy trying to contain them."

From Sir Alex Ferguson dried my hair on 606: "I'd like to be optimistic but in all honesty I can't see anything other than another capitulation from Hull."

1738: Arsenal are already probing the Hull defence with some neat inter-play but the Tigers have just had the first effort on goal... well, sort of. Jozy Altidore had a pop from the edge of the area but didn't get hold of the ball at all and that was never going to trouble Manuel Almunia.

1736: You wouldn't guess that Hull's pitch is also used for rugby league would you? Surely they could have got rid of the markings...

1734: Arsenal get the final top flight game of the day under way. I'm not sure whether anyone from the Women's Institute is in attendance?

1730: Arsenal and Hull emerge from the tunnel at the KC Stadium. I have to say that Jimmy Bullard's hair is looking in excellent condition (see 1233).

1727: Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill on his side's 0-0 stalemate against Stoke: "We would love to have won the game but it was never going to be easy. Stoke are always very difficult, so maybe it was a reasonable outcome. There weren't many chances in the game and the wind didn't help matters."

From Steve the Angry Gooner from Portsmouth, via text on 81111: "Let's see an absolute drubbing of Hull to put us on top - we need a good follow-up to the epic midweek win!"
It's always good to hear from Steve the Angry Gooner, who regulars will know is always spot on with his predictions...

1724: So, just the five goals needed to put the Gunners on top of the table. The Gunners would probably settle for just a fifth-successive Premier League win to put them level on points with Chelsea but Arsene Wenger's men are full of goals this season so it's not beyond them, especially now Nicklas Bendtner has got his shooting boots on...

1721: Stoke manager Tony Pulis explains the lack of chances in his side's 0-0 draw with Aston Villa: "The conditions were difficult, it was a very windy day and I thought the teams were very honest and committed. We've had a three-game week and when you catch a top team in your third game, it is always difficult for you. However, I thought we got stronger as the game wore on."

1718: Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti on third-choice goalkeeper Ross Turnbull's performance in his side's 4-1 win over West Ham: "He did well, he played with confidence and good personality and he is a good goalkeeper. I think he will be in goal on Tuesday (against Inter Milan), we have confidence in him.

Football League Danny: "A little bit of bonus Footy League news that I missed among the chaos of Burton Albion 5-6 Cheltenham. Ipswich won in the Championship, thanks to Connor Wickham scoring in stoppage time - the lad doesn't even turn 17 for two weeks. Also, kudos to Peterborough who finally won away for the first time in the league this season at the 18th time of asking. Posh won 1-0 at Watford."

1714: Wigan boss Roberto Martinez on his side's unsuccessful appeal for a spot-kick when Zat Knight tangled with Hugo Rodallega early in the Latics' 4-0 defeat by Bolton: "Obviously it was a clear penalty and things could have gone a completely different way after that."

1712: TEAM NEWS Hull v Arsenal
Hull make six changes from the side who lost 5-1 at Everton last weekend. Paul McShane and Andy Dawson replace Bernard Mendy and Kevin Kilbane at right and left back repectively. In attack, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink replaces Amr Zaki. Other changes see strikers Craig Fagan and Jozy Altidore and midfielder Dean Marney come in for midfielders Nick Barmby, Tom Cairney and Richard Garcia. Midfielder Cesc Fabregas is absent for the second straight game for Arsenal due to a hamstring injury. The Gunners make two changes from the side who beat Porto 5-0 in the Champions League in midweek, with Denilson replacing the suspended Alex Song and Emmanuel Eboue coming in for Tomas Rosicky, who has a groin injury.

1708: TEAMS Hull v Arsenal
Hull: Myhill, Mendy, Zayatte, Mouyokolo, Dawson, Fagan, Boateng, Bullard, Marney, Vennegoor of Hesselink, Altidore. Subs: Duke, Barmby, Garcia, Kilbane, Zaki, Cooper, Olofinjana.
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Campbell, Vermaelen, Clichy, Denilson, Diaby, Eboue, Nasri, Arshavin, Bendtner. Subs: Fabianski, Eduardo, Walcott, Silvestre, Traore, Merida, Eastmond.
Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands)

From Kalika at Vicarage Road, via text on 81111: "The biggest BOO of today comes from Watford! We were terrible today and I fear losing to the bottom club Peterborough, who pick up their first away win means certain relegation for the Hornets!"

Football League Danny: "Selected full-times. Middlesbrough 2-2 Newcastle. West Brom 3-2 Blackpool. Preston 3-2 Nottingham Forest. Huddersfield 1-3 Norwich. Southampton 1-0 Leeds. Shrewsbury 0-1 Rochdale. And, er, Burton Albion 5-6 Cheltenham."

1703: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Turf Moor: "Wolves fans celebrate with their team at the final whistle and no wonder - a massive win. Burnley can, in some respects, count themselves as unlucky. Brian Laws' substitutions, that brought him so much criticism, almost worked. Not quite though - and the Clarets are in big trouble."

1700: So, Chelsea are top of the Premier League after overwhelming a spirited West Ham side in the second half at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal will replace them at the summit tonight, however, IF they beat Hull City by FIVE clear goals tonight in our 1730 GMT kick-off.

From 20ledge-kb on 606: "Re 1558. Think it's fair to say now that Zola's team choice was ridiculous."

Football League Danny: "Crumbs. I'm going to make no comment. Just read this - Burton Albion 5-6 Cheltenham. Michael Pook with a 90th-minute goal. Still playing!"

1655: FULL-TIME Burnley 1-2 Wolves

1654: We're still playing at Turf Moor (which is almost turf-less, looking at the rather sparse grass on the pitch). Burnley need an equaliser but Wolves have possession and are playing out time.

1654: FULL-TIME Bolton 4-0 Wigan

1653: FULL-TIME Birmingham 2-2 Everton

1653: FULL-TIME Stoke 0-0 Aston Villa

1652: FULL-TIME Chelsea 4-1 West Ham

Football League Danny: "No doubt about the place to be for goals today - it's Burton 5-5 Cheltenham. Unbelievable match - Justin Richards with a 90th-minute leveller for Cheltenham. Gosh. Still a couple of minutes left there. Meanwhile, lower league win onf the day is surely coming at Saltergate, where it's Chesterfield 0-5 Port Vale. Well done Valiants."

1651: All things considered, Chelsea's stand-in keeper Ross Turnbull has done well today, not that he's been particularly busy. Still, he had to be on his toes to keep out a low Radoslav Kovac shot and push it behind.

Chelsea goal: I wonder if Fabio Capello has left yet? I hope so, for Robert Green's sake. Frank Lampard waltzes through the Hammers defence and his low shot bounces in front of Green, who can only parry it... and is powerless as Didier Drogba follows up to bury his 27th goal of the season.

1648: GOALFLASH Chelsea 4-1 West Ham (Drogba)

1648: James Milner fires a free-kick wide in a rare Aston Villa attack at Stoke, while the tense relegation battle between Burnley and Wolves is getting even tenser. The Clarets are pushing hard for an equaliser but time is running out.

1646: That's Florent Malouda's work done for the day, he is off after a match-winning performance and Salomon Kalou is on instead.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1645: Almost a fourth goal for Chelsea. That man Florent Malouda gets to the bye-line and plays the ball into the path of Frank Lampard, whose instinctive shot comes back off the far post.

From legerrid on Twitter: "Re 1627. Did Brian Laws' honeymoon ever start? Shouldn't it be 'is the nightmare ever going to end?!' "

1642: Stoke and Aston Villa have got a bit bogged down at the Britannia Stadium. Rory Delap is hurling in his trademark throws and Danny Higginbotham has just had a low shot blocked by Stephen Warnock but, otherwise, chances are few and far between.

Football League Danny: "In the Championship, Robert Earnshaw has pulled another one back for Forest, who now trail Preston 3-2 with 15 minutes to go. At the other end of the table, Peterborough are 15 minutes or so away from a first away league win of the season as they are 1-0 up at Watford. And League One leaders Norwich are now 2-1 up at Huddersfield - Stephen Elliott with that one."

From johnjbarry on Twitter: "The real Florent Malouda is starting to show himself in England now - he was brilliant when he played for Lyon. "

Football League Danny: "Middlesbrough are 2-1 up on north-east rivals - and Championship leaders - Newcastle after Scott McDonald stabs home. West Brom have been pegged back by Blackpool thanks to Brett Ormerod - it's 2-2. And in League One, Norwich have equalised at Huddersfield thanks to Grant Holt."

Chelsea goal: He has been top-class today and Florent Malouda could have just sealed the win that puts Chelsea back on top of the Premier League tonight. He bursts into the box and Didier Drogba sets him up for a cool finish that leaves Rob Green no chance.

1636: GOALFLASH Chelsea 3-1 West Ham (Malouda)

Burnley goal: The Clarets are back in it. After a Tyrone Mears' cross isn't cleared, Graham Alexander's shot bounces up for Steven Thompson to head home from close range.

1632: GOALFLASH Burnley 1-2 Wolves (Thompson)

Bolton goal: This has not been a day to remember for Wigan's defender Gary Caldwell, with his mistake allowing Matty Taylor to run in and hammer home Bolton's fourth goal.

1629: GOALFLASH Bolton 4-0 Wigan (Taylor)

1627: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Turf Moor: "The honeymoon is over for Burnley boss Brian Laws if Turf Moor's reaction to his replacement of Chris Eagles is anything to go by. The home fans made no attempt to disguise their disgust and they have a point. He has been one of Burnley's livelier performers and they desperately need creativity in attack now."

Football League Danny: "Top of the table goals to tell you about. In the Championship, West Brom now lead Blackpool 2-1 thanks to Robert Koren. Dexter Blackstock's netted a penalty for Nottingham Forest, but they still trail 3-1 at Preston. And League Two top dogs Rochdale are 1-0 up at Shrewsbury. Told you they were an unstoppable football machine."

1625: Here comes Joe Cole now, replacing Nicolas Anelka for Chelsea. He will have around half-an-hour against his old club and will hope to impress watching England coach Fabio Capello.

From sandeshgiri on Twitter: "Never seen Florent Malouda so confident and accurate."

1623: I can only apologise Bolton fans. For some reason, descriptions of your goals haven't been showing up today (I deleted the first one but not sure what happened for the last two - coding problems I think). I think I've fixed the problem now, so give this page a manual refresh and, er, feast your eyes.

1622: Fabio Capello is at Stamford Bridge today, watching Joe Cole warm up at the moment. He has also just seen Robert Green make a brilliant save to keep out Alex's header from Branislav Ivanovic's raking cross.

1619: Not much happening at the Britannia Stadium. Ricardo Fuller, who has just come on, has managed a scuffed effort for Stoke while Villa's best chances saw Stewart Downing's shot hit John Carew and deflect into the side netting.

Birmingham goal: Blues pull level with a route-one effort, Cameron Jerome flicking Joe Hart's long goal-kick to Craig Gardner, who smashes a low drive beyond the sprawling Tim Howard.

Football League Danny: "Couple of interesting Championship goals for you. Michael McIndoe's equalised for the home side to make it Coventry 1-1 Plymouth. And Neil Warnock's QPR have levelled at his former club Sheffield United through Adel Taarabt - that's 1-1."

Chelsea goal: John Terry strides forward imperiously and takes the ball to the edge of the West Ham area before playing it out to Florent Malouda on the left. The Frenchman, who has been outstanding this afternoon, sends over a superb cross that puts the ball on a plate for Didier Drogba to head Chelsea back in front.

1614: GOALFLASH Chelsea 2-1 West Ham (Drogba)

Bolton goal: A Wigan attack breaks down and Bolton come forward quickly, feeding Fabrice Muamba, who takes the ball round Gary Caldwell and finds the bottom corner of the net for his first goal for Wanderers.

1613: GOALFLASH Bolton 3-0 Wigan (Muamba)

Wolves goal: It gets worse for Burnley. They fail to clear a Matt Jarvis corner and Adlene Guedioura's shot from the edge of the box takes a deflection off the heel of Clarets defender Clarke Carlisle and flies into the bottom corner, beyond the reach of Brian Jensen.

1611: GOALFLASH Birmingham 2-2 Everton (Gardner)

Bolton goal: (I promise not to delete this one folks) Gary Caldwell lunges in on Tamir Cohen after just 90 seconds of the second-half and referee Mike Dean points to the spot. Kevin Davies steps up to put away the penalty, hitting it low to the keeper's right.

1608: GOALFLASH Bolton 2-0 Wigan (Davies pen)

1608: PENALTY to Bolton

1607: GOALFLASH Burnley 0-2 Wolves (Carlisle og)

1605: Mind you, re 1603, you seem to get away with more foul throws in the Premier League than you ever did when I played Sunday League. Oh, every other top flight game has now restarted.

1604: We are back under way at Stamford Bridge...

1603: No-one else has mentioned this but, if you look at replays of Scott Parker's sizzling goal for West Ham, it appears Kieron Dyer took a foul-throw to set him up.

1601: Arsenal are in action at Hull in today's 1730 GMT kick-off, but I'm guessing Gunners fans (and Manchester United supporters too) will be following the next 45 minutes at Stamford Bridge with great interest. A draw would be a big blow to the Blues' title hopes.

1558: Any further thoughts on Gianfranco Zola's West Ham line-up now... or shall we leave it until full-time before deciding if it was genius/ridiculous?

Football League Danny: "League One time - Southampton are leading Leeds 1-0 thanks to Dan Harding's goal. And another big goal as Darren Ward makes it Millwall 1-0 Charlton. That's fifth hosting third, by the way."

1555: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Turf Moor: "Burnley do not deserved to be behind, but it was a calamitous error by Tyrone Mears that handed Wolves the lead. Burnley have scored in every Premier League game at Turf Moor this season - and they have never needed one more than they do now."

1554: Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp after his side's 3-1 win over Blackburn that maintains their strong challenge for fourth place: "You get a feeling about games and I thought today was going to be very difficult for us because they are a terrific side, so to pick up three points was great for us. Roman Pavlyuchenko is in an incredible run of form and if he can continue doing that until the end of the season we will get to be where we want to be."

From thomavenel on Twitter: "Re 1543. Considering the clubs he played for, that's quite an achievement from the Yak."

1549: HALF-TIME Stoke City 0-0 Aston Villa

1550: HALF-TIME Birmingham 1-2 Everton

1549: HALF-TIME Bolton 1-0 Wigan

1549: HALF-TIME Burnley 0-1 Wolves

1548: HALF-TIME Chelsea 1-1 West Ham

1547: Wigan have improved in the last few minutes, and not before time. They would be level too, if not for a fine, low one-handed save by Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen to deny Charles N'Zogbia.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1546: Burnley go very close to equalising in that relegation six-pointer, with David Nugent swivelling to hit the bar from inside the six-yard box after a Tyrone Mears free-kick causes chaos in the Wolves area. Meanwhile, things have got worse for Danny Fox, who has been stretchered out of the dug-out.

1543: Our friends at Infostrada Sports tell us that Yakubu Aiyegbeni's goal for Everton was his 75th in the Premier League making him the top scoring African player in the competition. He has one more goal than Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker - and freshly crowned African Footballer of the Year - Didier Drogba.

1542: More bad news for Burnley. Danny Fox has gone off with a back injury, to be replaced by Stephen Jordan. Fox is the Clarets' corner and free-kick specialist, so that could be a major loss. He was able to walk off the pitch but is now being given oxygen in the dug-out, so I'm guessing he is in a bit of pain.

Football League Danny: "Middlesbrough have equalised at home to Newcastle thanks to Barry Robson's shot. Leicester are the only top-six Championship team to be winning at the moment - they lead Cardiff 1-0."

From optajoe on Twitter: "25 - Chelsea have conceded more Premier League goals already in 2009-10 than in any full season since 2003-04. Generous."

1538: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Turf Moor: "Turf Moor is awash with anxiety after that Wolves goal - a nightmare for Tyrone Mears as his weak header gifted the chance to Matt Jarvis. Burnley boss Brian Laws wants his team to show 'no fear' - and they need to show strength of character after conceding a goal in that manner."

1537: Frank Lampard exchanges passes with Michael Ballack and drills in a low shot that is turned round the post by West Ham keeper Robert Green. A point won't be enough to take Chelsea back to the top of the Premier League.

1535: Bolton are on the attack again and it could easily be 2-0 to the home side at the Reebok Stadium. Wigan keeper Chris Kirkland has to be perfectly placed to keep out a point-blank header from Bolton striker Kevin Davies.

Football League Danny: "Preston are giving former manager Billy Davies a none-too-warm welcome as the Scot finds himself back at Deepdale with Nottingham Forest. The Lilywhites are 3-0 up after 34 minutes - this is a potential hammer blow for Forest's hopes of a top-two finish."

1534: A first effort on goal by Aston Villa, who have been quiet so far at Stoke. Stiliyan Petrov lets rip with a fierce drive from 35 yards that almost catches out Thomas Sorensen, who dives to his left and tips the ball round the post.

West Ham goal: Pick that one out. I don't think Petr Cech and Hilario could have kept this out if they were both in goal at the same time so poor old Ross Turnbull has no chance. Former Chelsea midfielder Scott Parker finds space from a throw-in outside the box but there appears to be no danger until he spanks a stinging shot into the top corner from 25 yards out. Unstoppable.

Birmingham goal: Keith Fahey delivers a ball in from the left for Cameron Jerome, who gets just enough contact to flick the ball across Tim Howard from just outside the six-yard box. The home side are back in it.

1530: GOALFLASH Chelsea 1-1 West Ham (Parker)

Wolves goal: When you've only won one of your last 18 PL games, you don't need defending like this. Tyrone Mears tries to head the ball back to his keeper Brian Jensen but Wolves winger Matt Jarvis nips in first and is able to nick the ball past the big keeper. That was Wolves' first chance too.

1527: GOALFLASH Birmingham 1-2 Everton (Jerome)

1527: GOALFLASH Burnley 0-1 Wolves (Jarvis)

1526: Ah. I think we briefly lost my description of Bolton's goal at 1513 because of 'technical' issues (I deleted it). If you give this page a manual refresh it should be back, though.

Everton goal: Still no stopping Everton. Steveen Pienaar loops over an inviting cross from the right and Yakubu meets it to nod home from close range.

1524: GOALFLASH Birmingham 0-2 Everton (Yakubu)

Everton goal: Everton have made a storming start at St Andrew's. Joe Hart did brilliantly earlier to deny Steven Pienaar, clawing away the South African's curled effort at full stretch, but the Birmingham keeper was helpless to keep out Victor Anichebe's powerful effort after he cut inside and let fly with a shot that flew into the top corner. A superb finish.

1520: GOALFLASH Birmingham 0-1 Everton (Anichebe)

Football League Danny: "Peter Lovenkrands has put Championship leaders Newcastle ahead at derby rivals Middlesbrough. Second-placed West Brom are 1-1 with Blackpool, while in League One play-off chasing Huddersfield lead leaders Norwich 1-0 thanks to Neal Trotman."

1519: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Turf Moor: "Burnley keeper Brian Jensen has just escaped with a yellow card after a comedy flying head-butt challenge on Kevin Doyle as the Wolves striker went around him as he raced out of his area. Being clattered by the giant figure of "The Beast" is not recommended. Ever."

Someone has struck the woodwork
Almost a second Chelsea goal in the space of 60 seconds as another Florent Malouda cross is met by Didier Drogba at the far post, and his scuffed shot loops on to the top of the bar with Robert Green back-pedalling frantically.

Chelsea goal: That Ilan miss just now looks costly already, doesn't it? Florent Malouda's corner is cleared but he gets a second bite of the cherry and crosses for Alex to head home unmarked at the near post.

1516: GOALFLASH Chelsea 1-0 West Ham (Alex)

1515: A golden opportunity is spurned by West Ham striker Ilan, who meets Mido's pull-back from around 10 yards out but skies his shot a mile over the bar.

Bolton goal: Kevin Davies gets a flick on a long Bolton clearance and it runs through to Johan Elmander, who slots home from the edge of the area with a cool finish.

1513: GOALFLASH Bolton 1-0 Wigan (Elmander)

1512: Noel, sorry Glenn, Whelan has had a pop at goal - allowing me to get his name right at the third time of asking. His shot flies high and wide.

1510: Ross Turnbull's first 10 minutes as Chelsea's 'number one' have been pretty uneventful. He hasn't touched the ball. At the other end, Michael Ballack tees up Didier Drogba but his fierce shot is deflected wide. The Hammers are under a LOT of pressure.

1507: A shout for a penalty at The Reebok. Bolton defender Zat Knight catches Wigan's Hugo Rodallega with a clumsy challenge as he tries to reach a bouncing ball. Rodallega goes to ground, but referee Mike Dean is having none of it.

From Martin from Darlo, via text on 81111: "Re 1456. Noel Whelan has played 34 minutes for Darlington over two games this season, getting injured in both, in one case after 40 seconds. I'll drive him to Stoke myself if you like?"

1503: A first chance for Chelsea. Florent Malouda has a sight of goal on the left-hand-side of the area but flashes his shot wide. He had more time than he thought and snatched at that a bit.

1502: We've started at St Andrew's and the Britannia Stadium too... and, finally, at The Reebok. That's all the 1500 GMT top flight games started then.

1501: Under way at Turf Moor... and at Stamford Bridge.

1500: I've never seen Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson kiss an opposing manager before a game... must be an Italian thing.

1459: An affectionate embrace at Stamford Bridge between Carlo Ancelotti and Gianfranco Zola, who kiss each other on both cheeks. Fabio Capello looks on from the stand... I wonder if he wants a kiss too?

From James in London, via text: "I probably speak for most West Ham fans here by asking what on earth is Zola doing with this line-up?"

1456: Noel Whelan was playing for Darlington last I heard... It's Glenn who is in the Stoke midfield (see 1452, now changed). Sorry.

1454: Ah, that Nikola Kalinic 'goal' (see 1435) was ruled out because of a handball. Replays show Kalinic did handle it before firing home, but inadvertently after he was barged by Michael Dawson as the ball dropped towards them. I sympathise with the Croatian striker because there was no intent there.

1452: TEAM NEWS Stoke v Aston Villa
Stoke make two changes from the side that drew with Burnley in midweek, with Danny Higginbotham and Glenn Whelan replacing Andy Wilkinson and Liam Lawrence. Aston Villa are unchanged from the side that knocked Reading out of the FA Cup last Sunday.

From JohnnyThunder29 on Twitter: "Roman Pavlyuchenko's resurgence has been so perfect it's hard to not believe that Harry Redknapp planned it."

1450: Tottenham midfielder Gareth Bale on his side's hopes of a top-four Premier League finish after their 3-1 win over Blackburn: "We're all confident here. It's going to be a tough battle between now and the end of the season but we think we can do it."

1448: TEAM NEWS Birmingham v Everton
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish makes two changes to the side that beat Portsmouth in midweek. Stephen Carr returns after being rested at Fratton Park, while Lee Bowyer also starts after recovering from illness. David Moyes makes one change to the Everton side that thrashed Hull last weekend, with Tim Cahill returning from the treatment room to replace the injured Leon Osman.

1446: Wolves manager Mick McCarthy on his side's battle to stay in the top flight: "I have reason to be calm because we are playing well. If we had been playing badly and getting slapped, I might be different. Despite the results, the performances have been terrific and I honestly believe, if we continue playing as well as we are, it has got to turn around. I'm not giving it the big bravado. I just think we will get more points than three other clubs."

1445: TEAM NEWS Burnley v Wolves
Burnley make two changes, with Wade Elliot starting in place of Steven Thompson and Andre Bikey recalled in place of Jack Cork, but top scorer Steven Fletcher misses his third game in a row with a broken hand. Wolves name the same starting XI and bench that Mick McCarthy selected for the 1-0 defeat by Manchester United. It is the fifth game in a row where his starting XI is unchanged.

1444: TEAM NEWS Bolton v Wigan
Bolton make two changes from the side thumped 4-0 by Sunderland last time out, recalling midfielder Tamir Cohen after suspension and also bringing in Andy O'Brien for the banned Sam Ricketts. Wigan manager Roberto Martinez freshens up his attacking options following the midweek win over Liverpool with January signing Victor Moses coming in to the starting line-up and Bolivian striker Marcelo Moreno dropping to the bench.

1442: Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti on his side's goalkeeping crisis: "I'm not worried. The performance of the team does not rely upon the goalkeeper. I don't want to say we can play without a goalkeeper, because that's an important player for the team, but I have confidence in Ross Turnbull. He has not played a lot of games this season but, with the work with our goalkeeping coach, he has improved very well."

1440: TEAM NEWS Chelsea v West Ham
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti makes two changes to the side which beat Stoke 2-0 in the FA Cup. Ross Turnbull makes his first Premier League start for Chelsea in place of the injured Hilario, while Michael Ballack returns from suspension and replaces Solamon Kalou. Joe Cole is on the bench. West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola makes five changes with Fabio Daprela, Danny Gabbidon, Araujo Ilan, Kieron Dyer and Mido coming in for Julien Faubert, James Tomkins, Alessandro Diamanti, Carlton Cole and Guillermo Franco.

1438: FULL-TIME Tottenham 3-1 Blackburn

1437: TEAMS Stoke v Aston Villa
Stoke: Sorensen, Huth, Abdoulaye Faye, Higginbotham, Collins, Delap, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington, Sidibe, Sanli. Subs: Begovic, Lawrence, Fuller, Kitson, Pugh, Wilkinson, Moult.
Aston Villa: Friedel, Cuellar, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Downing, Milner, Petrov, Ashley Young, Heskey, Carew. Subs: Guzan, Luke Young, Sidwell, Agbonlahor, Delfouneso, Delph, Beye.
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

1435: Mind you, Blackburn should be right back in this. Nikola Kalinic finds the net at the other end with a corking shot on the turn from 25 yards but referee Howard Webb has already blown his whistle for a foul by Kalinic on Michael Dawson. I didn't see him do anything wrong myself.

1433: Robbie Keane's already got a hat-trick today, and Roman Pavlyuchenko has just gone very close to completing his own treble. His volley is going in until Chris Samba's acrobatic clearance stops it on the line.

Tottenham goal: So much for the Blackburn fightback. Some terrible Rovers defending sees Pascal Chimbonda give Roman Pavlyuchenko time to mis-cue from Gareth Bale's free-kick and, when the ball isn't properly cleared, Chimbonda is AWOL again as Pavlyuchenko turns in Bale's cross from close range.

1430: GOALFLASH Tottenham 3-1 Blackburn (Pavlyuchenko)

1429: TEAMS Bolton v Wigan
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Andrew O'Brien, Knight, Robinson, Lee, Muamba, Cohen, Wilshere, Kevin Davies, Elmander. Subs: Al Habsi, Taylor, Riga, Gardner, Klasnic, Shittu, Weiss.
Wigan: Kirkland, Boyce, Caldwell, Bramble, Figueroa, Scharner, N'Zogbia, Diame, Moses, McCarthy, Rodallega. Subs: Stojkovic, Amaya, Thomas, Scotland, Gomez, Sinclair, Moreno.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

1428: Spurs make a change, with Peter Crouch on for Jermain Defoe. I've got a feeling Crouch might do more defending than attacking in the next few minutes...

Blackburn goal: Looks like I wrote Rovers off too soon. Morten Gamst Pedersen flights over a corner and, with Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes in no-man's land, Chris Samba rises at the back post to power home a header. Tottenham aren't happy because Samba was climbing over Michael Dawson as he rose to meet the ball. The last 10 minutes might be a tad nervy for Spurs now...

1425: GOALFLASH Tottenham 2-1 Blackburn (Samba)

1423: TEAMS Chelsea v West Ham
Chelsea: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Alex, Terry, Paulo Ferreira, Ballack, Mikel, Lampard, Anelka, Drogba, Malouda. Subs: Taylor, Joe Cole, Zhirkov, Deco, Kalou, Sturridge, Bruma.
West Ham: Green, Spector, Upson, Gabbidon, Daprela, Ilan, Parker, Kovac, Behrami, Dyer, Mido. Subs: Stech, Cole, McCarthy, Tomkins, Collison, Diamanti, Stanislas.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

1422: Oh dear. It's just not happening for Blackburn in front of goal today. Franco Di Santo crosses from the left and Nikola Kalinic, in trying to divert the ball towards the target, only succeeds in volleying it towards the corner flag.

1421: TEAMS Burnley v Wolves
Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Cort, Fox, Elliott, Alexander, Bikey, Eagles, Paterson, Nugent. Subs: Weaver, Duff, Edgar, Rodriguez, Blake, Jordan, Thompson.
Wolverhampton: Hahnemann, Zubar, Craddock, Berra, Ward, Foley, Guedioura, Henry, David Jones, Jarvis, Doyle. Subs: Hennessey, Elokobi, Ebanks-Blake, Keogh, Vokes, Milijas, Mancienne.
Referee: Steve Bennett (Kent)

1419: Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce makes his third and final substitution - Franco di Santo is on for Gael Givet. Time is running out for Rovers... under 15 minutes left for them to find at least two goals.

1416: TEAMS Birmingham v Everton
Birmingham: Hart, Carr, Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Gardner, Ferguson, Bowyer, Fahey, Jerome, Benitez. Subs: Taylor, Larsson, Phillips, McFadden, Michel, Queudrue, Tainio.
Everton: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Anichebe, Heitinga, Arteta, Pienaar, Cahill, Yakubu. Subs: Nash, Hibbert, Yobo, Bilyaletdinov, Donovan, Gosling, Rodwell.
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

From DavindaAulak on Twitter: "Has Howard Webb got something against Spurs? Bad decision at Liverpool to deny Jermain Defoe an equaliser, and now a clear pen turned down?"

1413: I'm not sure how or why that wasn't a penalty. After Martin Olsson's cross evades his team-mates in the Tottenham area, Spurs break forward and Gareth Bale is sent flying by a challenge from our friend Michel Salgado. Referee Howard Webb has a great view of the incident but points for a... goal-kick. Surely, if it wasn't a foul, then it was a dive by Bale? I'm confused.

1409: Spurs should really be 3-0 up. Wilson Palacios finds Luka Modric with an inch-perfect through-ball, but Modric shoots wide. A waste of a brilliant pass.

1406: Blackburn make a change: Keith Andrews is on for Brett Emerton. Rovers have got 30 minutes to try to salvage something.

1405: Tottenham are well in control of this one now. Just a reminder that, if the scoreline stays the same, fourth-placed Spurs will be three points ahead of fifth-placed Manchester City... although City will have two games in hand.

Tottenham goal: A decent spell of Blackburn pressure comes to nothing and Spurs counter-attack at lightning speed with Jermain Defoe feeding Roman Pavlyuchenko, who lets fly with a low shot from the edge of the area that bounces under Jason Brown. I'm not sure the Rovers keeper will enjoy watching that one again.

1359: GOALFLASH Tottenham 2-0 Blackburn (Pavlyuchenko)

1356: Our friends at Infostrada Sports have some dispiriting news for Blackburn fans. Tottenham are ahead at the break for the 13th time this season - and they have won every league game this season in which they have led at half-time.

1354: Blackburn threaten again but Michael Dawson (again) is there to hack the ball clear after Nikola Kalinic latches on to a header that drops to him in front of goal. A better touch from Kalinic there and he might have had a chance to shoot.

1352: Blackburn pump a long free-kick into the Spurs box but Michael Dawson is there to head clear. OWC (see 1339) would approve.

1350: Tottenham get the second half under way.

From MagnificentSeven on 606: "As a neutral, I have to say Gareth Bale is the best wing-back in the country. Unbelievable engine, technique, strength and pace."
Hmmm, I'm guessing that not many neutrals are saying that Blackburn's Michel Salgado is the best right-back in the country?

1346: Blimey, you just cannot stop Spurs strikers from scoring, even during half-time. Robbie Keane (who admittedly is on loan at Celtic from Tottenham) has just put his side ahead in their Scottish Cup quarter-final against Kilmarnock.

1343: I don't want to make things worse for any unhappy Blackburn fans but, judging from the replays I've just seen, Rovers should have had a penalty earlier in the first half when David Dunn was bundled over by Vedran Corluka after running into the box. Referee Howard Webb could say that Wilson Palacios played the ball at the same time but no doubt that Dunn was fouled.

From OWC, via text on 81111: "Wilson Palacios and Gareth Bale have been great but no one on the pitch is near Michael Dawson. If he doesn't go to South Africa, it'll be a disgrace."

1339: Blackburn started brightly enough at White Hart Lane but Tottenham have gradually imposed themselves on the game and had a few near-misses before Defoe's predatory strike gave them the lead in first-half injury time. Rovers have got 45 minutes to salvage something from the game but their away form, and lack of goals on the road, suggests that is unlikely.

From Rafael and Fabio - Perfect Combination on 606: "My earlier-season prediction of Spurs finishing in the top four is coming along nicely."

1334: HALF-TIME Tottenham 1-0 Blackburn

Tottenham goal: I was just writing that Blackburn have done enough to deserve to be level at the break and this happens. Vedran Corluka flicks on a corner at the near post and Jermain Defoe pounces at the back post to turn the ball home.

1331: GOALFLASH Tottenham 1-0 Blackburn (Defoe)

1327: Hmmm. Blackburn keeper Jason Brown has had quite a lot to do since coming on, and his work is not finished yet. This time he makes a fine low save to keep out Jermain Defoe's shot from the edge of the area. We've got five minutes to go until half-time and the game is still goalless.

1322: Two chances in quick succession for Jermain Defoe... The first sees him forced away from goal when Gareth Bale finds him with another cute pull-back and he cannot even get a shot away. The second opening sees him run in to meet Benoit Assou-Ekotto's deep cross but Gael Givet gets the last touch and Jason Brown has to make a sprawling save to prevent an own goal.

1319: Er, no prizes for guessing who Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has singled out as the weak link in Blackburn's defence. Michael Dawson finds Gareth Bale with a raking cross-field ball and the Welshman leaves Michel Salgado trailing in his wake as he cuts inside before dragging his shot across the face of goal. A bit of a waste in the end by Bale, but he did brilliantly to get himself a sight of goal.

1315: It's been a lively first half-hour at White Hart Lane. No goals yet but both sides showing plenty of attacking intent.

1312: Nope, Paul Robinson cannot continue. He limps off to applause from his old club's fans and even manages to wave back in appreciation. Jason Brown will take his place between the sticks for Blackburn.

From D_J_Bates on Twitter: "How many minutes has Eidur Gudjohnsen had for Spurs? Wonder if he regrets leaving the Nou Camp bench only to warm one at the Lane."

Eidur Gudjohnsen has joined Spurs on loan from Monaco, but I take your point...

1308: Blackburn right-back Michel Salgado is having a busy afternoon so far. This time he is skinned by Gareth Bale, who sends over a cross that Roman Pavlyuchenko sweeps narrowly wide at the near post. Still, I suppose Roman is getting closer... he might even get one on target next.

1305: A problem for Blackburn. Their keeper Paul Robinson has picked up a knock and may not be able to continue for much longer.

1304: A much better opening for Roman Pavlyuchenko this time, but he still cannot find the target. Benoit Assou-Ekotto battles to the left-hand bye-line before hooking over a cross that the Russian meets with a scuffed volley that bounces high and wide.

1301: By the way, all Premier League games this weekend will use a special red ball, to promote the Red campaign to fight AIDS in Africa.

1258: Blackburn are still coming forward, though, and again they should do better when Pascal Chimbonda gets forward well down the left and pulls the ball back for Martin Olsson, only for the Swede to fire in a weak shot that is easily blocked.

1255: Tottenham's first effort on goal sees Roman Pavlyuchenko pick up the ball in space about 30 yards out before firing in a shot that swerves (well) off target. Still, it was worth a pop.

From Ben AND SOLSKJAER HAS WON IT on 606: "Re 1233. Hopefully Jimmy Bullard can use his flowing, quick-wash locks to inspire a Hull side to victory over Arsenal later. Or even a draw is good, cheers Jimmy."

1252: Another Blackburn attack. Morten Gamst Pedersen curls in a superb inswinging free-kick from the right but Chris Samba, unmarked, somehow fails to make contact at the back post. The ball sails straight out of play, but that was a decent chance.

1249: Only one away win for Blackburn in the Premier League so far this season, which isn't great. They've not made a bad start today, though, threatening already with a dangerous-looking break that saw David Dunn run from his own half before getting crowded out on the edge of the Tottenham box.

1247: Here we go...

1246: The Tottenham players are in a huddle in the middle of the White Hart Lane pitch, and kick-off is just seconds away.

1242: Sounds a tough old life for Stuart (below) doesn't it? It gets worse, though. As he is in the Caribbean, he won't be able to watch Football Focus, which is now embedded on this page... a quick manual refresh will allow UK users only to watch it. Sorry Stuart.

From Stuart, skipper of Mojito, via text on 81111: "Anchored off Mustique in the Caribbean hoping Spurs can get another three points towards that fourth place!"

1233: About 10 minutes or so to go until kick-off at White Hart Lane. What to do in the meantime? Well, if you haven't seen it yet, I recommend you watch Jimmy Bullard's hilarious shampoo advert (a quick online search should do the trick). The best footballer/hair-product commercial since the heady days of Jason McAteer in the 90s (back when he had hair). Other all-in-one shampoo/conditioners are available by the way...

From JamieCutteridge on Twitter: "Everytime Danny refers to us (Rochdale) as the unstoppable football machine (see 1222) something goes wrong, can he please stop! 36 years of hurt!"

1228: TEAM NEWS Tottenham v Blackburn
Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe returns to the starting line-up, which means Peter Crouch starts on the bench in the only change to the side which drew against Fulham in last-week's FA Cup quarter-final. Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce makes three changes to the team which lost to Liverpool a fortnight ago, with David Dunn, Brett Emerton and former Spurs full-back Pascal Chimbonda all back in Rovers' starting line-up.

1225: I need you lot to get involved today too, obviously. You've got a choice, either Tweet me, get involved on 606 or get the texts in via 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). Don't be shy.

1222: There's plenty to keep Football League Danny occupied for the next few hours too. Here he is now actually, with what he describes as his "pick of the pops in the Football League today..."

Middlesbrough v Newcastle (North-east derby sees play-off hopefuls host rampant leaders)

League One
Southampton v Leeds (Ooh, it's like the Premier League 2003-04 season all over again)

League Two
Shrewsbury v Rochdale (Play-off wannabes host League Two's unstoppable football machine)

From Farslayer on 606: "The pressure is all on Ross Turnbull today. One big match and he will instantly enter the reckoning for that third goalkeeping spot in the England World Cup squad."

1216: A bit of info on Ross Turnbull for you. The Bishop Auckland-born shot-stopper has played only two first-team games for Chelsea since arriving at Stamford Bridge in the summer. He started last season as Middlesbrough's first choice (in the top flight) but was dropped in January. Boro, as you probably already know, went on to be relegated.

From The_Only_Martin on Twitter: "Theoretically, Turnbull has to be OK. He's the best we have for now. And he can't waste his chance. Crucial games..."

1213: TEAMS Tottenham v Blackburn
Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Kranjcar, Modric, Palacios, Bale, Pavlyuchenko, Defoe. Subs: Alnwick, Kaboul, Crouch, Gudjohnsen, Rose, Kyle Walker, Livermore.
Blackburn: Robinson, Salgado, Samba, Givet, Chimbonda, Emerton, Nzonzi, Pedersen, Olsson, Dunn, Kalinic. Subs: Brown, Roberts, Andrews, Diouf, Basturk, Hoilett, Di Santo.
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

1211: LOTS more going on elsewhere, obviously. The battle for fourth place continues with Tottenham hosting Blackburn in our first game (at 1245 GMT) and Aston Villa in action at Stoke (at 1500 GMT). There's also couple of relegation six-pointers between Burnley-Wolves and Bolton-Wigan and a mid-table encounter between Birmingham and Everton, before Arsenal look to maintain their title challenge at struggling Hull. That's a 1730 GMT kick-off.

From Whos_The_Daddy68 on 606: "Man Utd could go from first to third today - what a switcheroo that would be. Goes to show how tight it is up there..."

1207: Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola is back at Stamford Bridge today as well of course. His West Ham side are desperately in need of a win to ease their relegation fears, but three points for the Blues against their London rivals will see them leapfrog Manchester United (who play Fulham tomorrow) at the top of the table. Should be quite tasty then.

1203: Injuries to Petr Cech, and now Hilario, mean 25-year-old Turnbull, who joined from Middlesbrough on a free transfer in the summer, will make his Premier League debut for the Blues against West Ham today, and probably face Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday. No pressure then.

1200: Afternoon. So, do you know much about Ross Turnbull? Nope, me neither. I think that might all change in the next few days, though, because Chelsea's third-choice goalkeeper is about to take centre stage...

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Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 13 Mar 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 29 42 64
2 Arsenal 30 38 64
3 Man Utd 29 43 63
4 Tottenham 29 25 52
5 Man City 27 17 49
6 Liverpool 29 16 48
7 Aston Villa 27 16 46
8 Birmingham 29 -1 44
9 Everton 29 4 42
10 Fulham 28 3 38
11 Stoke 29 -5 36
12 Blackburn 29 -17 34
13 Bolton 30 -18 32
14 Sunderland 28 -8 30
15 Wigan 29 -30 28
16 West Ham 29 -12 27
17 Wolves 29 -24 27
18 Burnley 30 -32 24
19 Hull 29 -34 24
20 Portsmouth 28 -23 19

see also
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football

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