Meanwhile, in Scotland
“With Scottish League Cup semi-finals this weekend involving Celtic and Kilmarnock, and Rangers and Aberdeen, It’s all about the bottom half of the SPL today, with Dundee United’s trip to Hibs and Ross County’s visit to Motherwell having huge significance for all four clubs,” says Simon McMahon.
“United had taken seven points from nine since the World Cup break before last week’s defeat to Rangers, and having been rooted to the bottom of the table for much of the season, a win today would take United to within four points of Hibs in seventh (and with a game in hand).
“Depending on the result of Motherwell v Ross County, United could also finish the day six points clear of Ross County at the bottom, or level with them. Can it be a six-pointer if you’re not playing each other?”
Don’t push my six-pointer button, not today.
Brighton v Liverpool
“Afternoon Rob,” says Stephen Carr. “Genuinely fearful Liverpool fan here. That midfield [Henderson, Fabiho, Thiago] is astonishingly one-paced, over-reliant on Thiago and ridiculously easy to bypass. Brighton are 2/1 to win. Put a monkey on it.”
Burnley v Coventry team news
Sheffield United v Stoke team news
Ipswich v Plymouth team news
Wolves v West Ham
Nottingham Forest v Leicester team news
Everton v Southampton team news
Brighton v Liverpool team news
And now there’s been a third goal…
There’s been a second goal at Old Trafford, and you’ll be thrilled to know it’s bathed in controversy.
Everton v Southampton
Frank Lampard wasn’t exactly full of the joys of January in his pre-match press conference either. If Everton lose today he may well be sacked, though whether he deserves to be such a lightning rod is open to debate/frantic shouting on Twitter.
Brighton v Liverpool
For different reasons, both managers weren’t in the best of moods yesterday.
There’s been a goal at Old Trafford. Can you resist this clickbait? Can you?
And Aston Villa have come from behind to lead Spurs at the Poundland Bescot Stadium, with Kenza Dali and Rachel Daly scoring after Beth England put Spurs ahead on her debut. Sarah Rendell is watching that one.
It’s goalless and cagey at Old Trafford, where the second half has just started. Scott Murray is watching that one.
Everton v Southampton
Here’s more on the news that the Everton board of directors won’t be at Goodison Park today because of fears over their safety.
Hello and welcome to Voyeur Club.
The first rule of Voyeur Club is There’s always been something slightly intrusive about watching teams fight for survival, especially when their managers are also in danger of the sack, and today scores highly on both counts. There are only four 3pm Premier League games, but six of the bottom eight teams – and four of the top six managers in the sack race – are in action.
There’s only one place to start: Goodison Park. Liverpool are also playing today but for once theirs isn’t the biggest game. Everton have craved primacy over their local rivals for a long time, but this isn’t quite what they had in mind. Everton, 18th, are at home to the bottom club Southampton, and if they lose all hell is likely to break loose.
Frank Lampard harnessed the abundant power of Goodison Park superbly last season, but it is starting to turn against him, the Everton players and especially the board. Everton were battered 4-1 by Brighton in their last home game, and there’s an extremely febrile atmosphere at Goodison right now – so much so that the board of directors won’t be at today’s game because of a “real and credible threat to their safety and security”. Crikey.
Southampton have lost their last six games but were extremely impressive in beating Manchester City in the Carabao Cup in the week. A win today could lift them off the bottom, depending on the result at Molineux. That’s where Wolves (19th) play West Ham (17th), with Julen Lopetegui already creating a siege mentality of his own. And an improving Nottingham Forest (15th) have the chance to a) avenge their 4-0 defeat at Leicester (13th) earlier in the season and b) move above Leicester.
Usually at least one team has been cut adrift by now; not this time. It’s never been so tight at this stage of a Premier League season, with only five points separating the bottom eight. There’s a game of Snakes and Ladders going on down there, and at least one team is going to step on a snake this afternoon.
The fourth and final Premier League game is enticing for different reasons: a battle for seventh between Brighton and Liverpool, who drew 3-3 in the return fixture at Anfield and have apparently abolished the clean sheet at both ends of the field. If that ends goalless, we might as well all pack up and go home.
We’ll do our best to keep with the EFL as well, though you can follow all the goals as they go in on our live scores page. There’s a biggie in League One, with third placed Ipswich at home to the leaders Plymouth.
These are today’s featured games, all 3pm kick-offs unless stated.
Burnley v Coventry
Sheffield United v Stoke