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Blog - ESPN FC United

 By Kevin Palmer

Chelsea's siege mentality dominates as Man City visit Stamford Bridge

Big, big, big, big game in the Premier League. The boys report from Stamford Bridge, speak to Frank Lampard and play a game of snakes and ladders ahead of Chelsea's clash with Manchester City.

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

Saturday
Hull City vs. Newcastle
Crystal Palace vs. Everton
Liverpool vs. West Ham
Man United vs. Leicester
Stoke City vs. QPR
Sunderland vs. Burnley
West Brom vs. Tottenham
Chelsea vs. Man City

Sunday
Arsenal vs. Aston Villa
Southampton vs. Swansea

Battle of the Weekend: Chelsea v Manchester City

There comes a point in every season when Jose Mourinho deploys the siege-mentality phase of his operation and, after many weeks of careful planning and preparation, that emergency button was duly pressed shortly after his side's Capital One Cup semifinal win against Liverpool on Tuesday night.

During his...

 By Nick Miller

Transfer sagas: 10 of the most memorable recent deals

Luka Modric left Tottenham, after interest from Chelsea, for Real Madrid in 2012.

There have been some fascinating, some arduous and some complicated transfer sagas over the years. Here, Nick Miller picks 10 of the most memorable deals that were finally signed on the dotted line.

10. Luka Modric, from Tottenham to Real Madrid


In football, as in many walks of life, the person with the most money very often gets their own way. Not in the case of Chelsea and Luka Modric, though. Modric signed for Tottenham in 2008, and, despite Harry Redknapp's apparent bafflement at where...

 By Nick Miller

Transfer tales of small to big club failures and successes

Roque Santa Cruz's ballyhooed arrival to Manchester City ended with the Paraguayan being loaned out three separate times.
Roque Santa Cruz's ballyhooed arrival to Manchester City ended with the Paraguayan being loaned out three separate times.

Plenty of players have gone from small clubs to big clubs in their Premier League careers, yet five failures and five successes stand out among all the rest.

Failures:

Scott Parker -- Charlton to Chelsea, 2004

When you're a young player doing good things with a small team, it's hard not to be seduced by the idea of a big club with big ambitions and big, big cheques, if they come calling. Scott Parker was in the form of his, and many other people's lives, in 2003-04 with Charlton. Such form...

Rochdale's FA Cup dreams end on their big night in the spotlight

A crowd of 7443 would pack into Spotland for Rochdale's FA Cup clash vs. Stoke.

In the latest edition of our Wembley Dreams series, Iain Macintosh travels to Rochdale for a major occasion in the history of the unheralded League One side. Keith Hill's men welcomed Premier League Stoke City to their Spotland ground with dreams of springing another surprise on a weekend of shocks. 

ESPN FC ON THE FA CUP ROAD TO WEMBLEY

- 1st round: Maidstone's night of glory
2nd round: Wrexham roll into round three
- 3rd round: Stoke squeeze past Wrexham
- 4th round: One night in Rochdale
- 5th round: Feb. 14-16
- 6th round: Mar. 7
- Semifinals: Apr. 18-19
- Final: May 30

ROCHDALE, England -- Cambridge United took a sip against Manchester United, while Middlesbrough took a gulp vs. Manchester City and, by vanquishing Chelsea, Bradford tried to down the whole thing...

Bayern Munich return to Bundesliga action in first place

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop breaks down this week's top rankings.

The German season is set to resume, which means defending Bundesliga champions and Power Rankings leaders Bayern Munich will return to competitive action.  

1. Bayern Munich (no change)

By now you know the drill: Bayern haven't played but stay top by virtue of no other side having done enough to usurp them. But, wait, the Bundesliga resumes this weekend and, furthermore, the runaway leaders face a tough test away at Wolfsburg. Are Pep Guardiola's side in for a surprise?

2. Real Madrid (no change)

The...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Capital One Cup balancing act for Spurs and Chelsea, but success is key

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho expresses his displeasure with a particular Sky analyst and defends his star striker Diego Costa.

If last weekend's incredible upsets suggested that reports of the death of the magic of the FA Cup had been greatly exaggerated, midweek saw the League Cup reassert itself with two thrilling semifinals. This week has reminded of the drama that the death-or-glory nature of cup competitions can bring.

Chelsea and Liverpool slugged out their encounter but there were plenty of subplots to keep the attention as Jose Mourinho's men advanced. Diego Costa's stamps (one of which was subject to an FA charge),...