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Weekend Live! (24-26 Jan)

  • [kick-off]Good morning, and welcome along to Weekend Live! - our blog covering all the build-up to the next few days in football. This weekend on UK shores, the FA Cup fourth round takes centre stage while there's also four Sky Bet Championship fixtures, plus action in Leagues One and Two and the Scottish Premiership.
    1/24/2014 8:57:22 AM
  • [fl72]Our live action gets underway on Friday night as League One promotion hopefuls Brentford play host to Gillingham at Griffin Park (live on Sky Sports 1HD from 7.30pm). The Bees lie just a point behind Leyton Orient at the top of the table and are currently on a 15-game unbeaten run in the league, taking 41 points from a possible 45. The Gills, who are 14th, have won two of their last three matches so we could be in for an exciting encounter in west London. Also on Friday, Arsenal host Coventry and Nottingham Forest entertain Preston (8pm) in the FA Cup.
    1/24/2014 9:11:05 AM
  • [cardiff]We'll be hearing from Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and defender Kevin McNaughton shortly. The Bluebirds, who are propping up the Premier League following their 4-2 defeat at Manchester City last Saturday, head to Bolton in the FA Cup fourth round looking for another away-day success after knocking out Newcastle at the start of the month.

    1/24/2014 9:18:12 AM
  • [soccersaturday]That Bolton v Cardiff clash is one of 12 FA Cup fourth-round fixtures taking place on Saturday afternoon, when Jeff Stelling will be back with Soccer Saturday from 12pm on Sky Sports 1HD. Liverpool's trip to Bournemouth is the lunchtime game, while the 3pm kick-offs include Manchester City v Watford and Sunderland v Kidderminster Harriers. There's an evening encounter too as Stevenage play host to Everton at 5.30pm. In the Sky Bet Championship, leaders Leicester City are in action at home to Middlesbrough, while fourth-placed Derby go to Blackburn, managerless Blackpool meet Doncaster and Ipswich take on Reading. In addition, there's six League One fixtures, 11 in League Two and north of the border, Motherwell v Aberdeen is the pick of the four Scottish Premiership games.
    1/24/2014 9:26:19 AM
  • [scottishfootball]On Sunday, you can watch Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic live on Sky Sports 1HD from 12.30pm as they travel to Edinburgh to meet Terry Butcher's Hibernian. The Hoops have a 13-point advantage at the top of the table and also have two games in hand over second-placed Aberdeen, while Hibs lie seventh. We also have a League Two game for you on Monday night when Scunthorpe meet Fleetwood at Glanford Park.
    1/24/2014 9:38:27 AM
  • [cardiff]As promised, here's Cardiff defender Kevin McNaughton talking to the media ahead of the Welsh club's FA Cup trip to Bolton. The 31-year-old Scotland international was on loan with Wanderers earlier in the season.

    1/24/2014 9:41:55 AM
  • [cardiff]Kevin McNaughton says new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has given him a new lease of life at the Cardiff City Stadium.

    1/24/2014 9:43:21 AM
  • [substitution]This is the final weekend of action in January before the transfer window closes in seven days' time. Remember you can keep abreast of every single development wherever you are by using our Transfer Centre. Here's the latest news...
    • Sky sources understand Manchester United's club-record deal for Juan Mata is likely to be completed on Friday.
    • Chelsea have agreed a deal with Basel to sign winger Mohamed Salah.
    • Shinji Kagawa's agent has played down talk linking the Manchester United man with a move away from Old Trafford.
    1/24/2014 9:50:17 AM
  • [cardiff]Let's head back to the Welsh capital to check in with Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He's confirmed that he's in talks with Molde's Jo Inge Berget and insists Manchester United's Wilfried Zaha has not yet had a medical. On the trip to Bolton in the FA Cup, he adds:

    1/24/2014 10:06:48 AM
  • [everton]Everton full-back Seamus Coleman has been ruled out of Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie at Stevenage (kick-off 5.30pm) due to the problem he picked up against West Brom. Coleman limped off in the 1-1 Premier League draw at The Hawthorns on Monday and his club subsequently confirmed he had sustained a "minor soft tissue injury". That is the only fresh fitness setback for a Toffees squad still missing Antolin Alcaraz (muscle fatigue), Ross Barkley (broken toe), Steven Pienaar (groin), Gerard Deulofeu (hamstring), Darron Gibson and Arouna Kone (both knee). Stevenage are hopeful Filipe Morais will be fit after he suffered a dead leg in the 1-0 defeat by Notts County last weekend. However, midfielder Dean Parrett is a major doubt as he continues to recover from the knee injury which has kept him out of the last two matches.
    Seamus Coleman: Won't play at Stevenage 
    1/24/2014 10:19:56 AM
  • [liverpool]Liverpool are sending birthday greetings to their star striker Luis Suarez, who turns 27 years old today. Will the Uruguayan gun down Bournemouth in the FA Cup tomorrow?
    Happy 27th birthday to Luis Suarez! #elpistolero #theKOP
    by Liverpool Football Club via Instagram
    1/24/2014 10:28:44 AM
  • [hull]Steve Bruce's Hull City will be keen to avoid an FA Cup giant-killing on Saturday when they make the trip south down to the coast to take on League Two outfit Southend, who are managed by former Tigers boss Phil Brown. Bruce will shake up his side...

    1/24/2014 10:32:24 AM
  • [southampton]Dani Osvaldo will not be available for selection in Southampton's FA Cup fourth-round clash at home to Yeovil on Saturday after the striker was given a two-week ban by the club following a training-ground altercation. The 28-year-old was due to return to the squad after serving a three-game suspension but will now sit out another three Saints fixtures as a result of the Italy international's involvement in Wednesday's fracas. With a Premier League clash with Arsenal on Tuesday night, Saints are likely to rotate their team but there will definitely be no place for Dejan Lovren, Gaston Ramirez (both ankle) or Victor Wanyama (calf).
    Dani Osvaldo: Suspended by Saints 
    1/24/2014 10:36:07 AM
  • [tv]

    1/24/2014 10:41:30 AM
  • [audio]On Sky Sports News Radio's Football League Hour, Adam Virgo joins Mikey Burrows to discuss all the big issues in the Football League plus Wigan captain Gary Caldwell, Bournemouth skipper Tommy Elphick, Preston striker Kevin Davies, Accrington's Danny Webber, new AFC Wimbledon signing Darren Jones, Rochdale goal hero Peter Vincenti and Plymouth Argyle's Guy Branston.

    1/24/2014 10:43:54 AM
  • [fulham]Fulham are expected to make several changes for Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round tie away to Sheffield United (kick-off 1pm). Fulham play fellow relegation candidates Swansea in the Premier League on Tuesday so players like Elsad Zverotic, Lasse Vigen Christensen and Aaron Hughes could get a run out at Bramall Lane. The only injury doubt for the Cottagers is defender Fernando Amorebieta, who has a knee problem. Meanwhile, the Blades will be without ineligible trio Billy Paynter, Elliott Whitehouse and Callum McFadzeanOn-loan striker Paynter played for parent club Doncaster in the third round, while Whitehouse (York) and McFadzean (Chesterfield) were involved in earlier rounds when on loan at other clubs. Chris Porter and Shaun Miller are vying for a place up front alongside Jose Baxter in Paynter's absence. Manager Nigel Clough has no new injury or suspension worries as his side look to repeat their third-round heroics when they won 2-1 at Aston Villa.

    Elsad Zverotic: Expected to start at Sheffield United 
    1/24/2014 10:50:44 AM
  • [newspaper]If you missed it earlier, here's the Daily Mirror's Darren Lewis with a round-up of this morning's tabloid gossip and other headlines in Sky Sports News' Paper Review.

    1/24/2014 10:51:45 AM
  • [hull]Hull will be without cup-tied record signings Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long for the FA Cup fourth-round trip to Southend on Saturday. The absence of the £14million duo means Yannick Sagbo and Matty Fryatt will be hoping to impress at Roots Hall. Manager Steve Bruce will rotate his starting XI but is without Tom Huddlestone (suspended), James Chester (hamstring), Robbie Brady (groin) and Sone Aluko (Achilles). Meanwhie, Southend expect Ryan Leonard and Barry Corr to shake off niggles. Both were on target in the 3-0 win over Chesterfield at the weekend but ended the game with a foot and a calf knock respectively. Loanee Luke O'Neill is sidelined with a thigh problem picked up on Saturday.
    Yannick Sagbo: Set to feature at Southend 
    1/24/2014 11:00:15 AM
  • [recommend]Mata, Draxler, Salah and Cabella - four of the big names making headlines this month as we edge closer to the end of the transfer window. We've been gauging the opinion of expert Tor-Kristian Karlsen on all these potential deals, and you can read his thoughts in full here.

    1/24/2014 11:05:49 AM
  • [birmingham]Recent loan signing Albert Rusnak is set for his Birmingham debut after being cleared to play by Manchester City as Lee Clark's side look to knock Swansea out of a second cup competition this season. The Blues beat the Capital One Cup holders in the third round of this year's tournament, when goals from Dan Burn, Matt Green and Tom Adeyemi earned a 3-1 win. While Burn (returned to parent club) and Green (knee injury) are not available this time round, Adeyemi (back problem) is available for the first time this calendar year. Peter Lovenkrands (groin) is also back in the fold but Kyle Bartley, who has recovered from a hamstring problem, cannot face his parent club. Elsewhere, Amari'i Bell is cup tied while Jonathan Spector (thigh), Akwasi Asante (hamstring), Neal Eardley and David Murphy (both knee) remain in the treatment room.
    1/24/2014 11:13:32 AM
  • [skysportsnews]

    1/24/2014 11:24:09 AM
  • [sunderland]On Saturday, Sunderland play host to the lowest-ranked side left in the FA Cup, Kidderminster Harriers. Black Cats boss Gus Poyet says his two new Argentinian signings - a centre-back and goalkeeper - are in line to feature at the Stadium of Light.

    1/24/2014 11:27:45 AM
  • Here’s this week’s Trading Views Podcast from Sky Bet, with potential FA Cup upsets and mooted transfer odds on the agenda.
    1/24/2014 11:28:55 AM
  • [yeovil]Yeovil will be able to field loan signing Ishmael Miller when they travel to Southampton looking to cause an FA Cup upset. The powerful striker arrived from Nottingham Forest on Thursday until the end of the season and has been given the green light to feature by his parent club. There will be a change at left-back for the away day after Zoumana Bakayogo returned to Leicester having damaged his cruciate ligament on his debut at Birmingham. And with Liam Davis sidelined due to a broken toe, Jamie McAllister or Luke Ayling look set to step in. Ed Upson is clear of his ankle problem and came through an appearance in a friendly against Plymouth unscathed and he is pushing for a start but Matteo Lanzoni is cup tied.

    1/24/2014 11:31:53 AM
  • [arsenal]Lukas Podolski and his Arsenal team-mates will be kicking off FA Cup fourth-round weekend tonight when they play host to Coventry City. Check out our match preview here.
    Just checked the ground for tonight..... #afc #emirates #matchday #facup #lukaspodolski #podolski #poldi #adidas #hublot #gihhhhh #aha #coyg
    by @Podolski10 via Instagram
    1/24/2014 11:40:28 AM
  • [liverpool]Injury to right-back Glen Johnson means Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is forced into another defensive reshuffle for their FA Cup tie at Bournemouth on Saturday (kick-off 12.45pm). Jon Flanagan could return from a hamstring injury while Martin Kelly is the other option to fill in, while goalkeeper Brad Jones will start in place of regular first-choice Simon MignoletThere is a doubt over midfielder Joe Allen but defenders Daniel Agger (calf), Jose Enrique (knee) and Mamadou Sakho (hamstring) are all still out, while midfielder Lucas Leiva (knee) is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
    Glen Johnson: Out injured for Reds 
    1/24/2014 11:43:39 AM
  • [fl72]Our live FL72 offering this evening sees Peter Taylor take his Gillingham team to face in-form Brentford at Griffin Park in Sky Bet League One (coverage from 7.30pm on Sky Sports 1HD). Taylor spoke to's Chris Burton earlier this week to reflect on life at Priestfield since returning to the Kent club in October, and his hopes for the rest of the campaign. Read the full interview.
    Peter Taylor: Takes Gills to Brentford 
    1/24/2014 11:49:57 AM
  • [skysportsnews]Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has accepted a role as UEFA's coaching ambassador.

    1/24/2014 11:52:05 AM
  • [brighton]Brighton could welcome Will Buckley back into their squad after a hamstring injury when they travel to Port Vale in the FA Cup on Saturday. Kazenga LuaLua is also on the mend but the trip may come too soon for him, while midfielder Andrew Crofts (knee) and strikers Craig Mackail-Smith and Will Hoskins (knee) are still out. As for Vale, manager Micky Adams will have to make changes to his starting line-up. Joe Davis is ineligible for the fourth-round tie and Carl Dickinson begins a two-match suspension after he received his 10th yellow card of the season during the league win over Oldham. Florent Cuvelier suffered knee ligament damage on his debut against the Latics last weekend and the on-loan Sheffield United midfielder will miss the remainder of the season.
    1/24/2014 12:03:07 PM
  • [hull]Hull have recalled defender Jack Hobbs from his loan spell at Nottingham Forest after the injury suffered by James Chester at Norwich last weekend, but he is ineligible to play at Southend in the FA Cup on Saturday.

    1/24/2014 12:09:50 PM
  • [chelsea]Chelsea host Stoke in the FA Cup on Sunday - looks like Andre Schurrle and David Luiz are in good spirits ahead of that game! We should be hearing from Jose Mourinho at Cobham very shortly. His press conference is due to start at 12.30pm.
    Andre Schurrle and David Luiz in training today... #CFC
    by Chelsea FC via Instagram
    1/24/2014 12:13:37 PM
  • [socceram]Bournemouth will attempt to knock Liverpool out of the FA Cup on Saturday, but how did they fare in Soccer AM's Crossbar Challenge? Take a look...

    1/24/2014 12:19:51 PM
  • [bournemouth]Bournemouth will have goalkeeper Lee Camp available when they host Liverpool in their FA Cup fourth-round tie (kick-off 12.45pm). The January signing from West Brom was unavailable for their 4-1 win over Burton in the third round as he was not with the Cherries when the fixture was originally due to take place but he is able to line up against Brendan Rodgers' men. Eddie Howe will name his strongest possible XI as he looks to cause an upset and he could select the same line-up that drew 1-1 with Watford. Both previous meetings between these sides came in the FA Cup, when Liverpool needed replays to knock out the Cherries in 1927 and again in 1968 at Anfield.
    1/24/2014 12:23:05 PM
  • [tottenham]We've been speaking to Darren Anderton, who thinks Tottenham can finish in
    the top four this season as they have a "very strong squad". 
    Spurs have been in fine form since Tim Sherwood replaced the sacked Andre Villas-Boas, winning five of their last six Premier League games to move level on 43 points with fourth-placed Liverpool. Anderton says:
    When it comes down to it, it's all about the squad - and Spurs have got a very strong squad with lots of talent and lots of quality players.

    1/24/2014 12:38:41 PM
  • [england]England will be among the top seeds for the draw for the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, UEFA has announced. It means England will be sure of avoiding the other eight top seeds Spain, Germany, Italy, Holland, Portugal, Greece, Russia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. There will be eight groups of six teams and a ninth group of five teams with 23 sides to join hosts France in the final tournament. The seedings will see the Republic of Ireland among the pot of second seeds, Scotland and Wales in the pot of the fourth seeds, and Northern Ireland in the pot of fifth seeds. The draw will take place in Nice on February 23.
    1/24/2014 12:42:37 PM
  • [chelsea]Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been speaking about Juan Mata in his Friday press conference...

    1/24/2014 12:46:50 PM
  • [chelsea]More from Mourinho on the Mata deal itself..
    1/24/2014 12:49:09 PM
  • [chelsea]Jose Mourinho has also discussed Chelsea's imminent capture of Basel winger Mohamed Salah.
    1/24/2014 12:51:09 PM
  • [liverpool]Here's something for you to debate over lunch. Former Liverpool player John Barnes believes that Luis Suarez has the makings of a club legend - but insists this will only be achieved if his loyalty remains with the Reds. Barnes says:
    You have to be there for a particular amount of time to be considered a legend for any club, but I would love to see him stay and do it.
    Luis Suarez: Reds star 
    1/24/2014 12:59:21 PM
  • [manchesterunited]Juan Mata's transfer to Manchester United will be finalised "sooner rather than later", according to Chelsea boss Jose MourinhoUnited are expected to complete a club-record move for the Spain midfielder today, once a medical has been completed in Manchester.
    Mourinho and Mata: Parting ways 
    1/24/2014 1:03:35 PM
  • [cardiff]Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could hand Magnus Wolff Eikrem and Mats Moller Daehli full debuts in Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round clash at BoltonThe Norwegians have yet to start for the Bluebirds, but Solskjaer is likely to give at least one of them the chance to impress away from the pressures of a Premier League relegation scrap. Club captain Mark Hudson and full-back Declan John could also feature having missed out on a place in the starting XI at Manchester City.
    Magnus Wolff Eikrem: Could make full debut at Bolton 
    1/24/2014 1:22:48 PM
  • [whistle]The Football League have announced who will be officiating at Wembley on Sunday, March 2, when Manchester City face Sunderland in the League Cup final.

    1/24/2014 1:27:55 PM
  • [bolton]Forward Andre Moritz will come back into contention when Bolton host Cardiff in the fourth round of the FA Cup at the Reebok Stadium. Summer signing Moritz missed Reading's 7-1 demolition of the Trotters last weekend with a knee injury but boss Dougie Freedman revealed he trained on Thursday and will come into contention at the weekend. His return to the squad would be a welcome one given Jermaine Beckford is still absent with a hamstring injury and David Ngog is close to a move to Swansea, which could possibly materalise before this weekend's game. United States international Stuart Holden is still sidelined because of a knee injury, and the midfielder is due to return to his home country next week for the next stage of his rehabilitation, while full-back Marc Tierney (foot) is a long-term absentee.
    1/24/2014 1:29:33 PM
  • [done-deal]This has the potential to be one of tomorrow's great FA Cup stories! Kidderminster have just announced they have secured the free-transfer signing of striker Freddie Ladapo from Colchester - and the 20-year-old is available to make his Harriers debut in Saturday's fourth-round tie at Sunderland. Don't forget to check our Transfer Centre for all the latest ins and outs.

    1/24/2014 1:34:43 PM
  • [southampton]Earlier this week, Doncaster re-signed striker Billy Sharp on loan from Southampton for the rest of the season - and the striker admits his career at St Mary's is now over.

    1/24/2014 1:40:26 PM
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