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Visit of United makes Villa fearful

Aston Villa
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Arsene Wenger's hidden gem

Arsenal
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Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes

Talking Tactics: How depleted Villa could look against Manchester United

Manchester United kept up their fine record against Aston Villa with a 3-0 away win last season -- Danny Welbeck (2) and Tom Cleverley among the scorers.

Playing at home against Manchester United has long been a psychological block for Aston Villa and the club's chances of finally winning this fixture haven't been helped by a significant list of absentees.

What could be interpreted as getting the excuses in early is really anything but; Villa have five players out injured, another three unavailable because of suspension and it's no exaggeration to suggest that Paul Lambert could have difficulty filling the bench with senior players. Joe Cole may...

 By Lee Roden

In securing Angel Correa, Atletico Madrid finally get their heir to Aguero

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone remained coy on the possibility of Fernando Torres returning to Spain.

The high turnover of players at the Vicente Calderon means every summer is important for Atletico Madrid. With the La Liga title win and Champions League final appearance last season raising expectations, getting it right this year was particularly crucial for the club. Mario Mandzukic, Antoine Griezmann and Alessio Cerci were all significant investments made in an effort to maintain the momentum, yet before any of those forwards completed their moves, one striker should have already arrived.

Days...

Betting Blog: All square at Anfield as Arsenal hold Liverpool

The ESPN FC answer your twitter questions on Liverpool's top four chances, Jozy Altidore's future and Chelsea's potential transfer window targets.

You would have been in the money had you backed all our tips in the Capital One Cup so let's see if we can continue our red-hot form with some more selections ahead of the weekend's action ...

Draw a good result at Anfield

It is interesting to see that Liverpool's price to beat Arsenal at Anfield on Sunday remained at 9/5 with Bet365 despite their morale-boosting win at Bournemouth in the Capital One Cup in midweek, a result that was doubly important after a torrid recent run.

Arsenal, admittedly,...

 By Nick Miller

Premier League workhorses who don't get the credit they deserve

Blue-collar, work-horses, grafters, 'lunchbucket' players -- call them what you like. The Premier League needs those who perhaps aren't known for their silky skills. Here are ten of the best.

10. Cesar Azipilicueta

Cesar Azpilicueta has become a mainstay on the Chelsea back line.
Cesar Azpilicueta has become a mainstay on the Chelsea back line.

When Cesar Azipilicueta first arrived at Chelsea, there were some doubts about whether he was good enough for a side of their ambitions. He seemed a game but relatively limited defender, but after establishing himself in the side, he most definitely has proved those early doubts wrong,...

Liverpool and Arsenal shun defensive midfielders; creativity over destruction

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.

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...

PSG negotiate tricky Ajaccio test as Coupe de la Ligue title defence begins

Serge Aurier climbs above the Ajaccio defence to nod PSG into the lead on Wednesday.

Paris Saint-Germain got their Coupe de la Ligue title defence underway with a 3-1 win over Ligue 2 side AC Ajaccio on Wednesday. The Corsican side did not prove to be rollovers at the Stade Francois Coty, even if the scoreline suggests that the result was never in doubt, but Laurent Blanc's men did eventually get the job done.

Johan Cavalli's 27th minute penalty gave the hosts the lead and Les Ours could and should have doubled it before the end of the first half. Lucas Moura provided Edinson Cavani...