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Barclays Premier League

Sterling urged to sign new deal

 By James Dall

Flawed opponents Liverpool, Arsenal yearning for statement of intent

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno, Craig Burley and Stuart Holden are in agreement the pressure is piled on Liverpool ahead of their Capital One Cup match against Bournemouth, with a clash against Arsenal looming.

Premier League Spotlight previews the weekend's top-flight fixtures, highlighting the key points to keep an eye on as the action unfolds.

Weekend fixtures

Man City vs. Crystal Palace
Aston Villa vs. Man Utd
Hull vs. Swansea
QPR vs. West Brom
Southampton vs. Everton
Tottenham vs. Burnley
West Ham vs. Leicester

Newcastle vs. Sunderland
Liverpool vs. Arsenal

Stoke vs. Chelsea

Weekend battle: Liverpool vs. Arsenal

Liverpool face Arsenal on Sunday, the team they have been doing a very convincing imitation of this season: bark without the bite, an at-times invisible goalkeeper, lots of itty-bitty passing, injuries to key players, profligacy in front of goal, slapstick defending, style over substance and a manager who talks a good game...

Liverpool and Arsenal shun defensive midfielders; creativity over destruction

ESPN FC's Stewart Robson asseses Arsenal's defensive woes given all the injuries and the suspension to Calum Chambers.

The defensive midfielder is not a footballing dinosaur or dodo, a species consigned to extinction by the changing of the times. How could it be when Chelsea's Nemanja Matic is perhaps the most influential player of the season?

Yet it has no counterpart at two of the supposed elite: The defensive midfielder seems a dying breed at Liverpool and Arsenal. Matic highlights a philosophical divide in football. This summer Chelsea paid 21 million pounds to re-sign the man they sold for a sixth of that...

United's Marouane Fellaini: Criticism of me last season affected my family

Our experts weigh in on Manchester United's potential move to sign AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman.

Marouane Fellaini has revealed that his family were hurt by the criticism he received during his difficult first year at Manchester United.

Fellaini, 27, became one of the most expensive players in United's history when he joined for 27.5 million pounds from Everton in September 2013.

However, the Belgium international failed to score a goal in his first season at Old Trafford as the defending Premier League champions only finished seventh.

And Fellaini became a target in a year when he struggled...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Arsene Wenger backed to stay on at Arsenal by majority of voters in poll

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he appreciated the support of the crowd during his side's 4-1 win over Newcastle, after the abuse he received earlier in the week.

Arsene Wenger should remain as manager of Arsenal, according to the majority of voters in a SunSport/YouGov survey.

The Sun commissioned the survey after Wenger, who has come in for criticism from Gunners fans this season, said last week that he does not conduct weekly polls like politicians to see how popular he is.

The Frenchman was verbally abused by a group of supporters at a train station after his side's 3-2 defeat at Stoke earlier this month, while at West Bromwich Albion the week before,...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Raheem Sterling urged to sign new Liverpool deal by Steven Gerrard

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers hails Raheem Sterling's performance against Bournemouth.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has told Raheem Sterling that he should sign a new contract at Anfield as there is no better club for him to develop his career.

Sterling, who says he is keen to take up a more central attacking role, ended a run of 17 games without a goal when he scored twice in the 3-1 Capital One Cup win over Bournemouth on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old's current contract runs out in 2017, with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are reported to be monitoring the situation. Sterling...