BBC Sport football

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 11:33 GMT, Sunday, 31 August 2008 12:33 UK
Live - Premier League


Aston Villa 0-0 Liverpool Match report
Chelsea 1-1 Tottenham Match report
Sunderland 0-3 Man City Match report


To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Paul Fletcher

1808: OK, so that is all for today. Many, many thanks for all your contributions. Couldn't do it without you. And don't forget to come back in the morning for the transfer deadline live text.

1804: Well, Chelsea finish the weekend top despite being held by Tottenham, who they always tend to beat. Liverpool, who according to the post below are managed by a man who must be sacked, are second on goal difference.

The big winner on Sunday must surely be SWP - what a return to Man City colours. The big loser? Could yet turn out to be Roy Keane's dog. He might be involved in a very long walk this evening.

1803: "Rafa simply has to go, I'm sorry, I recognise his achievements but apart from the defence he seems to buy the right players and play them way out of position. Also Kuyt is horrendous! Wouldn't look out of place in a Doncaster shirt, no offence!"
deathtopop on 606
Join the debate on 606

This sort of post has the potential to make me angry. You are entitled to your opinion but really, potting Rafa the day before the transfer window closes, three Premier League games into a new season. It just does not make sense.

No-one - literally no-one - has successfully broken the seven in the Aston Villa v Liverpool match. Javier Mascherano has lightly brushed the seven with a score of 6.96, and Ashley Young has gently flirted with the seven with 6.86. But no-one's broken it. No-one.

1752: Full-time: Aston Villa 0-0 Liverpool
No goals, not many decent openings, a relatively poor spectacle. Not the best really. Benitez might think it is a decent point, Martin O'Neill likewise.

1748: More problems for Liverpool coping with set-pieces. Jamie Carragher has to bundle the ball away close to his own line.

1748: "Same old Liverpool- the reason they will never win the title is because they have too many average players. I wouldn't want Aurelio, Kuyt, Lucas or Arbeloa, Babel, Dossena, Degen, Benayoun or N'Gog in the Spurs team, let alone for a team that has 'dreams' of winning the league."
Lennonisagod on 606
Join the debate on 606

1743: A superb looping free-kick from close to the half-way line is met by Martin Laursen, who has made a cracking run from the edge of the box. Reina is beaten but the header from Laursen is narrowly wide. We do appear to have the potential for some late drama.

1742: Milner tries his luck with a first-time strike from the edge of the area but birthday boy Reina makes a decent if comfortable save.

1740: Liverpool in a decent position on the edge of the Villa box but a stray pass and the opening comes to nothing. It has been a frustrating afternoon for a Liverpool side who really haven't found their stride yet this season.

1738: Approximately 15 minutes left at Villa Park. Plenty of speculation on 606 that the Reds will nick a late winner - but Robbie Keane won't be scoring it as he has been replaced by Yossi Benayoun.

1732: Robbie Keane is played clean through by a pass from midfield by Javier Mascherano. Keane takes his time, but too much so, and as he prepares to pull the trigger Reo-Coker makes a brilliant covering tackle. Penalty appeals fall on deaf ears.

1729: A change for the Reds as Fabio Aurelio comes on for Kuyt. Is that a change that hits at a determination to win a game? Stiliyan Petrov narrowly misses with a crisply-struck volley.

1727: (See 1716) "Hundreds of millions saved and we play like Liverpool."
Neil, BWFC, via text on 81111

1725: "We've got a bit of break now and I'm delighted with that.

"I don't want to see my players for a while and it couldn't come at a better time."
Sunderland manager Roy Keane, clearly not very happy

1723: So, with 64 minutes gone, Milner comes on for Luke Young, with Reo-Coker dropping into right full-back. If Milner can have the same sort of impact on his second debut as SWP did for City then exciting times lie in store.

1721: Curtis Davies meets an Ashley Young free-kick at the far stick and should do better but he is under pressure from Kuyt and he succeeds in only looping the ball up in the air. A decent chance wasted.

1720: Milner is warming-up for Villa. After an entertaining start to the second-half, the two teams are again cancelling each other out.

1719: "I'm delighted for Shaun. It's great day for him and I'm sure he'll remember that performance for a long time.

"He's written his own story today and will rightly grab all the headlines.

"We had no doubts that we were signing a good player and in fact he's a better player now then the one we let go."
Man City manager Mark Hughes on Shaun Wright-Phillips

1716: "Liverpool. Hundreds of millions spent and play like Bolton."
RedAddict on 606
Join the debate on 606

Harsh or fair comment? You decide.

1711: Nicky Shorey makes an important if inadvertent block from an Alonso 20-yard strike. A cross then causes problems and Brad Friedel then manages to divert a dangerous cross over his crossbar.

Villa threatened with a Carew header moments earlier.

1708: An early chance for Liverpool as an Alonso corner causes problems and Kuyt tries but fails to head the ball goalwards from three yards. In the end a Villa defender holds his position and just manages to resist the efforts of Liverpool's Dutch forward.

1706: (See 1636) "Re: Spanish school year. In Spain it depends which year you were born in, it's not in sync with the school year. Very silly isn't it? So if Reina was born in August he was probably neither oldest or youngest!"
perceptiveStriker on 606
Join the debate on 606

If what you say is correct then you have shed a huge amount of light on the matter and for that I am very grateful.

1704: The final half of Premier League football on Sunday, 31 August starts at Villa Park. A vast improvement on the opening 45 minutes is our heartfelt wish.

1702: More chat from Dan the Stat...

Lots of debate among our readers about the merits of the phrase "breaking the seven" for those players scoring more than 7.00 on Player Rater. No such worries for Manchester City's Shaun Wright-Phillips who has a whopping nine-bothering 8.70. Stephen Ireland (7.46) and Vincent Kompany (7.30) aren't doing too shabbily either. Over at Villa Park, the scores are less impressive, although Javier Mascherano is leading it with 6.76. That accolade will sit nicely alongside your gold medal, Javier.

1654: Full-time: Sunderland 0-3 Man City
Cracking afternoon for Mark Hughes and his team - and what a return for Shaun Wright-Phillips to City colours. He'll be in the England team in no time if this carries on. It is absolutely pouring with rain in Sunderland but I would not be rushing to the dressing room if I was a Sunderland player.

1652: "Shaun Wright-Phillips the best signing so far (ref Modric comments earlier)? Great bit of business by City. Also it seems like the City players are playing for places after another two big signings this week. And I had Sunderland to win 2-1."
brighton72 on 606
Join the debate on 606

I saw a feature the other day suggesting SWP was one of the worst signings of the summer - and this before he had even played for City since re-signing. Make of that what you will.

1648: Half-time Aston Villa 0-0 Liverpool
Not a classic by any means. Desperate is how one of my colleagues has described it.

1647: Fans streaming out at the Stadium of Light - and they are not City supporters.

1644: (See 1636) "Good question! As a primary school teacher I can tell you he would have been the youngest! Up the Spurs!"
Anonymous via text on 8111

Yes, but there is the tricky issue of the Spanish school year. The football season starts later in Spain, maybe the school year does as well, potentially meaning there are younger people than him in his year. Or maybe not.

1643: Xabi Alonso and Robie Keane play in Ngog, who shoots just over from the edge of the area. Liverpool, it seems, are finally finding some fluency.

1642: "I'm glad I had my dinner early today. That Liverpool kit has killed any appetite I may have had."
neillydun on 606
Join the debate on 606

1641: The Villa net ripples, but only after Dirk Kuyt drills the ball into the side netting from a tight angle.

1639: Correction - it is David Ngog who has come on for Torres at Villa.

1636: John Carew really should score for Villa after the ball is played into him in space 10 yards from goal but the Norway striker opts for placement, side-footing the ball low towards goal, and Pepe Reina saves.

Reina is 26 today - was he the youngest or oldest in his year at school?

1635: Almost 4-0 to City but Craig Gordon makes a decent save, scooping the ball clear.

1634: Meanwhile, at Villa Park, the home team win a corner after some superb persistence from Nigel Reo-Coker. Of course in keeping with the match, the corner comes to nothing.

1631: Sunderland have lost their composure, with a series of poor challenges resulting in yellow cards. City boss Mark Hughes is prowling the dug-out looking extraordinarily angry. First Keane, now Hughes. I wouldn't cross either of them.

1630: (See 1624) "Or possibly, if you insist on attempting to establish the whole "seven" thing , such players could be referred to as being in "seventh heaven"?"
Thom, Glossop, via text on 81111

1628: Problems for Rafael Benitez as striker Fernando Torres limps off at Villa Park. He appeared to pull a hamstring as he turned trying to chase down a poor pass. Ryan Babel comes on.

1626: Liverpool have yet to really show anything going forward at Villa Park, but then the home team haven't exactly impressed either.

1624: "Re: "break the seven" - I say players with over seven-point ratings should be referred to as "Seven Up."
Evan in Winnipeg on 606
Join the debate on 606

And for those of you who don't know, to "break the seven" is to score more than seven on the player rater.

1621: What does Roy Keane think of his team's performance? A triple substitution says it all. Cisse, Diouf and Leadbitter are off.

1619: GOAL Sunderland 0-3 Man City
Shaun Wright-Phillips lets a high, looping pass forward from Michael Ball bounce once and then guides the ball past Craig Gordon with the deftest of touches with the outside of his right boot. The ball eludes a desperate sliding dive from Phil Bardsley, who ends up in a heap at the back of the net. A great finish.

1617: Wright-Phillips is having an outstanding return to City colours and the Black Cats are struggling to get out of their own half. boss Keane is holding tactical discussions on the bench.

1614: Aston Villa have made a high-tempo start against Liverpool but nothing in the way of chances to tell you about so far.

1612: GOAL Sunderland 0-2 Man City
Roy Keane really will be fuming now. Jo skews a shot across goal that run straight to Shaun Wright-Phillips completely unmarked at the far post. The winger celebrates his return to City colours by side-footing the ball home from six yards.

1612: "Manchester United have nothing to fear from Chelsea now. The trademark slow start doesn't really matter if Chelsea drop points also. Hat-trick of Premier League trophies anyone?"
ChodeArmy on 606
Join the debate on 606

1609: I could be wrong here but I'm sure the Liverpool fans are chanting to Gareth Barry "You should have signed for a big club".

1606: The second-half is about to start in Sunderland. Tel Ben-Haim has come on for injured City defender Micah Richards.

1604: "Claim to fame: my Grandma was Harry Redknapp's aunt. Work the rest out from there!"
Elliott, stuck on the M25, via text on 81111

"How about Chris Hoy lives in the same apartment block as me! He cycled past me yesterday, no rest for the wicked."
Nick, Manchester, via text

1603: Liverpool wearing a silver kit with red socks. Is that right?

1600: We are under way at Villa Park. I should have mentioned that James Milner is on the bench for Villa.

1558: A cursory handshake between Martin O'Neill and Rafa Benitez on the touchline. Civilised enough - on the face of it, anyway.

1557: The players emerge. It seems like a cracking atmosphere in the Midlands.

1556: Inside the tunnel at Villa Park, Gareth Barry looks calm enough.

The indefatigable Danny the Stat is at it again....

A happy return so far for Shaun Wright-Phillips, who is top of the pile with 7.58, but he's far from the only man to break the seven. Which will catch on, by the way. Fellow seven-busters include team-mates Micah Richards (7.33) and Vincent Kompany (7.00) and Sunderland's Djibril Cisse (also 7.00). It can all change...
Sunderland-Man City Player Rater

1549: Half-time Sunderland 0-1 Man City
Memo to referee Chris Foy - don't go out for dinner in Sunderland tonight.

1547: GOAL Sunderland 0-1 Man City
Perhaps somewhat against the run of play. Danny Collins cuts out a cross from the right but the ball runs straight to Stephen Ireland, who slots home from eight yards.

1545: El-Hadji Diouf gets the better of Michael Ball at the far post. His header runs across goal and City eventually clear but Sunderland are playing with real determination.

1539: Tempers rising on Wearside - more as a product of decisions not made by referee Chris Foy - not Hoy. Kieran Richardson chases a through ball while Joe Hart races out from his goal. Richardson goes down but there is no contact and play continues.

Roy Keane is fuming. His face speaks of an incredible anger. You do not want to be the fourth official.

1538: Not many clear-cut chances at Sunderland. It is a bit like when I have spent the day doing DIY - a distinct lack of end product.

More great chat from Dan the Stat...

It's as you were on the BBC Sport Player Rater, with Spurs' keeper Heurelho Gomes still leading the way. He's now on 7.13 and is the only player to "break the seven" (that is so going to catch on). No other outstanding scores which, on the face of it, befits a match of few chances. But a point at Stamford Bridge? Spurs' players deserve a little more credit don't they? Don't they?
Chelsea-Spurs Player Rater

Aston Villa make six changes from their midweek exploits in Europe, with Ashley Young, John Carew, Martin Laursen, Stiliyan Petrov, Luke Young and Nicky Shorey all back in the side, while Gareth Barry will line-up against the team that tried to sign him this summer.

Liverpool have Javier Mascherano and Lucas back in their line-up after their Olympics exploits, while Andrea Dossena is in for Fabio Aurelio but injured skipper Steven Gerrard is missing.

1527: (See 1520) "My claim to fame, I live on the same estate as Leon Osman. Nice bloke too."
Chris via text on 81111

"Claim to fame: I once new someone that was in the same year and at the same school of Theo Walcott. Apparently he was quite nice."
Adam Slater, Oxford, via text

"My Mum goes to weight watchers with Wayne Rooney's aunty - my claim to fame. She even gave me a signed pic of Waz too. What a gal!"
Joely, Liverpool, via text

"My cousin was Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall's nanny for Elizabeth and James Jagger!"
Dan, from a very grey Weymouth, via text

"Ha? Call that a claim to fame? I am on holiday in the same hotel as Steven Gerrard's Mother-in-Law."
Anonymous via text

Pick the bones out of that lot.

1525: Full-time Chelsea 1-1 Tottenham
Very much a fair result in a tight game of few clear chances. I suspect every Tottenham fan in the land would have taken that result.

1523: Jo outmuscles Nyron Nosworthy out wide to set up Vincent Kompany, who sees his shot well blocked by the Sunderland defence on the edge of the area.

1522: Space suddenly opens up for Lampard in the Spurs box. Woodgate quickly closes down and Lamps tumbles to the floor. Disappointing and certainly no penalty.

Juande and Big Phil have a laugh. In Spanish I suspect. What larks.

1520: "My claim to fame: my brother knows someone who has a friend who goes to the same gym as Jamie O'Hara's cousin."
Anonymous via text on 81111

Tenuous. Poor. New claim to fame urgently required.

Roman looks bored at the Bridge. Four minutes left.

1518: Shaun Wright-Phillips is enjoying an impressive return to City colours, plenty of touches on the ball, lots of endeavour. He has just been clattered by Phil Bardsley.

Franco Di Santo comes on for Anelka at the Bridge.

1517: Bale smashes his free-kick.....into the wall.

1516: Bosingwa is booked for bringing down Bale on the edge of the Chelsea box. Will Tottenham strike a late winner?

1513: Tottenham ever closer to their first point of the season.

1511: Sunderland almost score as a cross from Pascal Chimbonda is deflected against the Man City crossbar.

1510: Anelka flicks the ball on to Kalou, for whom the route to goal has suddenly opened up but the Ivory Coast striker snatches his shot. Poor effort in a game of few chances.

1507: Kalou on for Belletti at the Bridge. Modric runs into Terry and goes down in a heap. Only one winner there.

Sunderland have started positively - and Grant Leadbitter shoots low and across goal from 20 yards but his effort is wide of the target.

1503: Jamie O'Hara on for Spurs, while Bentley is withdrawn, doubtless for some urgent work to the barnet. Spurs are about 20 minutes from a very creditable draw.

1500: The game has started at Sunderland.

And many, many thanks to the 10,001 people who have pointed out that Jimmy McNulty is something to do with the Wire. Not Wyre. Ignorance is bliss - or perhaps you don't know that?

1459: Apparently Man City's Martin Petrov is out with a knee injury. Some fascinating hairstyle chat involving Djibril Cisse, who is sporting a red stripe. Cisse is on home debut.

1458: Players on the pitch at the Stadium of Light. The stadium looks more or less full.

1456: Time for a change from Big Phil, who introduces Florent Malouda and withdraws Joe Cole. Huddlestone gets into an attacking position but his strike is blocked by John Terry.

1453: Tottenham make another change, as Tom Huddlestone replaces Chris Gunter. Jenas slips in at right-back.

1452: Well done kids vigilant as always. Of course I meant to write VINCENT Kompany. Human error is a terrible thing.

1449: Not long now until kick-off at the Stadium of Light. It will be interesting to see how all their new players gel.

Aaron Lennon comes on for Spurs, replacing Dos Santos.

The sun has broken through at Stamford Bridge. Whatever next.

Sunderland midfielder Steed Malbranque shakes off an ankle problem to make their starting line-up, while Kieran Richardson and Grant Leadbitter are back in place of Daryl Murphy and Dean Whitehead.

Man City hand a start to the returning Shaun Wright-Phillips, while Vincent Kompany and Dietmar Hamann are also back in the side.

1445: (See 1351) "Wasn't that David Bentley in cult classic 80s movie the Princess Bride? Google image search certainly seems to confirm so. Football needs more swashbuckling looks if you ask me, needs more pirates."
Jimmy McNulty, Baltimore, via text on 81111

Are you any relation to our chief football writer Phil McNulty?

1440: "Modric will be a great buy. He's always finding space and makes himself available, and he puts a shift in no mistake."
alex6674 on 606
Join the debate on 606

The Modric debate rages. I had no idea that his signing had so divided opinion. The Croats seem like very complete technical players to me. If he can compete with the physical demands then I see no reason why he cannot be a success. Of course, whether he is worth 16m...

1438: An early chance for Ashley Cole. The defender is played in by Essien and shoots low and across goal from a tight angle. His effort is narrowly wide.

1437: The second-half has started at the Bridge. Could it, just could it, be the day of days for Tottenham?

Meanwhile, Danny the Stat has been busy, real busy. And he has just sent me this...

What a save that was from Heurelho Gomes. And, when he regales his grandchildren with tales of how he thwarted Frank Lampard with his fingertips, he can also tell them how his athleticism earned him top spot on the BBC Sport Player Rater at half-time. The Brazilian is on 7.26. Chelsea's Ashley Cole is the only other player to "break the seven" (it'll catch on, for sure), notching a creditable 7.06. Lots of six-point-somethings elsewhere, if you want that to change, get involved...
Chelsea Player Rater

1429: "Spurs are a better team than their bottom spot in the Premier League represents."
eirebilly on 606
Join the debate on 606

Comforting words for Tottenham fans everywhere.

1426: "David Bentley looks like Harvey Dent out of the last Batman movie! BEFORE the whole face-melting episode."
Fullofham on 606
Join the debate on 606

Glad you cleared up the before and after.

1423: (See 1246) "Worse things happen at Chel sea - see what I've done there?"
Copley via text on 81111

I do see what you've done - and I really rather like it.

1419: Half-time Chelsea 1-1 Tottenham
I think it is fair to say that the half-time talks will be somewhat different than they might have been a few minutes ago.

1418: GOAL Chelsea 1-1 Tottenham
Frank Lampard inadvertently plays a great through ball to Darren Bent, who shoots low past Petr Cech and into the bottom corner. Lampard had been trying to block a pass from Luka Modric.

1417: Joe Cole joins Deco in the book for a poor tackle on Ledley King.

1414: (See 1358) Lots of chat on 606 and the text about Luka Modric. Some think he will really come good, others reckon he is too lightweight and plenty are saying that Arsenal's Samir Nasri is a much better buy. I wonder who they support.

1410: (See 1351) "I know exactly what you mean about Bentley's hair. I think it's more a hybrid between Victorian Music Hall and Ken (as in Ken and Barbie). He's having a good game though!"
RFK2008 on 606
Join the debate on 606

1407: Gomes comes for a cross and makes contact with Chris Gunter, his own defender. The keeper is OK after treatment. Spurs just need a few quiet minutes. Chelsea are starting to look increasingly ominous.

1404: "Good afternoon from the Floating Pool Bar on the lake on Lake Como, Villa d'Este. - Chelsea season ticket holder in the wrong place ! Great news so far - two more large ones please."
Anonymous via text on 81111

How you shame us with your fabulous wealth and success. And I bet it isn't raining there either. And the fact your team are winning.

1401: GOAL Chelsea 1-0 Tottenham
A corner comes in and Darren Bent tries to clear but horribly slices the ball, which then strikes Juliano Belletti and flies into the Tottenham goal.

1359: Chelsea really should be in front. Anelka controls a pass from Belletti with a sublime first touch but, having done the hard work, smashes the ball over from 12 yards. Michael Essien then clatters the woodwork with a thunderous 25-yard strike.

1358: "Does anyone else think Modric will turn out to be one of the best buys this season?"
GeordieLennon on 606
Join the debate on 606

Good question. Thoughts?

1353: Chelsea win a corner. The ball comes in and causes all kinds of chaos. Nicolas Anelka shoots on the turn and Ledley King makes a superb block.

1351: David Bentley pushes forward and wins a corner. I like Bentley as a player but what is going on with his new gel-intense hairstyle? It was shaven, solid and northern at Blackburn but has mutated into some kind of interwar years army officer style. Am I missing something?

1346: "Kia ora from New Zealand, missing both the start of yet another season back home, but glad of your updates over here, Be back to see Brighton's promotion push towards the end, in the meantime enjoy the moneymen of the Premier lads, C'mon Tot's, about time that Bridge record was done over."
brighton72 on 606
Join the debate on 606

Two things. Firstly, you learn something every day. I always thought Kia ora was a cordial drink advertised quite funkily on TV. I'll be your dog, yeah? Secondly, Tot's? First EPL now Tot's - the world is going nuts.

1343: The match has settled down after a frenetic start. Tottenham have certainly not crossed London just to defend.

1339: Darren Bent has a shot blocked, the ball going out for a corner. End-to-end stuff so far. Really rather exciting.

1338: Brilliant finger-tip save from Heurelho Gomes. It looked for all the world as though Frank Lampard's truly exquisite 20-yard chip was going to float over his head and nestle comfortably in the back of the net.

1336: Some interesting chat on 606 about Scolari and Hackman. I never have seen them in the same room, but would very much like to do so.

Bosingwa cleans out Gareth Bale in no uncertain terms. Though having watched a rugby league match yesterday I'd have to say it is hardly X-rated. Tottenham have started quite brightly, pinging a couple of crosses into the box.

1334: First pop at goal comes from Frank Lampard. Miles over.

1333: And we are off. A miserable looking day. Apparently there were thunderstorms this morning, but I characteristically slept through them.

1329: The players have made their way out at Stamford Bridge. The atmosphere sounds superb. Really looking forward to this one.

1321: It never ceases to amaze me how much Scolari looks like Gene Hackman. Amazing.

By the way, Real Madrid's Robinho has come out and reiterated his desire to join Chelsea. Perhaps he is a big Gene Hackman fan too. Robinho intent on joining Chelsea

1320: "Hi Paul and the BBC team from Fiji Islands. Thanks for keeping us updated. It's just after midnight here but I am looking forward to a Blues victory, Go Chelsea. Lampard to score first. 3-0."
Manoj4rmfiji on 606
Join the debate on 606

"Re the kicked kettle. How was he allowed so much space in the box? Where was the marking lads?"
slightly76on 606
Join the debate on 606

Disappointing. That is what you get with Sunday morning football.

1314: "I hope Liverpool does well this season. If they win the EPL more power to them. My ideal season would have Arsenal winning the Champions League just as Milan loses the Uefa Cup final, Tottenham under performing as usual. Chelsea loses the Champions League to Arsenal, and Manchester United finishes third because of injuries, want away wingers, and off form strikers."
onithor on 606
Join the debate on 606

EPL? Premier League on this page mate. I suspect Arsene Wenger will need to splash the cash before the end of tomorrow, something he seems to have no intention of doing, if your dream season is to become reality.

1312: Chelsea v Tottenham. Top v bottom. But as Dan, sat to my left, pointed out, does that count for anything after just two games of the season?

1310: I just hope for Tottenham's sake that they do not dwell on the fact that Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 83 home Premier League games. Might not be a good idea.

1304: Juande Ramos looks elegant and businesslike in his sharp suit. A professional, in control of matters. Scolari is wearing his Chelsea tracksuit and looks ever so slightly beleaguered, like an harassed Dad down the multiplex with his kids on a Saturday afternoon.

Chelsea are without midfielder Michael Ballack so manager Luiz Felipe Scolari reshuffles his pack with right-back Juliano Belletti coming in. Either Belletti or Jose Bosingwa should play in a more advanced role than normal.

Tottenham wantaway striker Dimitar Berbatov has not travelled with the side. Giovanni dos Santos comes in for winger Aaron Lennon and Chris Gunter replaces Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

Full details to follow, but just to say that there is no sign of Dimitar Berbatov in the Tottenham squad.

1300: "As a Manchester City fan I have been on a high since Thursday. The capture of SWP and progression in Europe (despite the performance) and now the signing of Zabaleta, I think we are getting a nice balance. The only thing we need to do now is cart Michael Johnson off and we'll be a much better team! A 2-1 win today to City with SWP bagging!"
Simon, Bolton, via text on 81111

It has been an up and down summer for City, with plenty of uncertainty, but it has definitely been a good week. I just wonder how long it will take for SWP to find the sort of form he showed the last time he was at City. A very long text message Simon. It would take me about 15 minutes to write one that long. Man City complete Zabaleta deal

1254: (See 1246) "What was the kettle doing on the floor in order for it to be kicked over? Should be on the work top, Paul. Sort it out."
AntonUK on 606
Join the debate on 606

Good point. I'm merely telling a story, not responsible for the circumstances that created it. Besides, who is to say that the man who kicked it over was not on a worktop? Although, to be fair, he wasn't.

1249: "I can see Barry scoring the winner in a scrappy 2-1 win. What a storyline that will be..."
Manchesta G on 606
Join the debate on 606

It will be a big afternoon for Barry. I really hope he scores, if nothing more than to see how he celebrates. Will he go for a full on kissing of the badge routine? Or something a touch more subdued?

1246: Not strictly relevant I know but someone has just kicked a kettle over at work and been consoled by a colleague with the declaration that worse things happen at sea. Do they? And even if they do, why point the finger at the sea all the time? Pretty bad things happen on dry land too.

1245: "I'm a Spurs fan and have said to my Missus that if Spurs win today I will wear her underwear and use it as my Facebook profile picture. If it means a Spurs win I don't care!"
Luke, Chatham, via text on 81111

The BBC's very own Gary Lineker was the match-winner the last time Tottenham won a league fixture at Chelsea, way back in February 1990. That is so long ago I hadn't even started university.

1238: "Looking forward to all home wins today I think. My predictions for today: Chelsea 3-2 Tottenham, Sunderland 5-2 Man City, Aston Villa 3-1 Liverpool."
dirk-kuyt18 on 606
Join the debate on 606

1230: Let's get busy. I had the day off yesterday and a terrific old time at the Challenge Cup final (that's the oval ball, rugby league version). Went down to Wembley with the in-laws, who are very much of the Hull persuasion. I think it would be wrong of me to say that they had a perfect day, what with losing the final to St Helens and then taking a monster 5-0 stuffing at home to Wigan in the Premier League. I could almost hear the thud as they came back down to earth after a summer on cloud nine.

Today's order of business opens with what should be a heavyweight contest between Chelsea and Tottenham.

Now, Spurs might have beaten Chelsea in last season's Carling Cup final but the men from Stamford Bridge hold most of the historical aces. Chelsea have gained more wins (20), scored more goals (62) and accumulated more points (71) against Tottenham in the Premier League than any other club.

Sunderland then take on Man City. The Black Cats have brought in so many players I have to wonder whether Roy Keane has had time to complete the introductions, while I'm curious to know what Man City will turn up today?

And what a day for Gareth Barry! Aston Villa versus Liverpool. Will he have slightly mixed feelings as he walks onto the pitch? Very much a case of what might have been.

What do you reckon?

Barclays Premier League Table
01 February 2010 22:00
    P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 23 38 54
2 Man Utd 24 36 53
3 Arsenal 24 32 49
4 Tottenham 24 20 42

5 Liverpool 24 16 41

6 Man City 22 14 41
7 Aston Villa 23 13 40
8 Birmingham 23 -1 34
9 Everton 23 -1 32
10 Blackburn 24 -15 28
11 Fulham 23 -2 27
12 Stoke 22 -7 26
13 Sunderland 23 -10 24
14 Wigan 22 -23 22
15 West Ham 23 -9 21
16 Bolton 22 -15 21
17 Wolverhampton 23 -21 21

18 Burnley 23 -23 20
19 Hull 23 -26 20
20 Portsmouth 22 -16 15

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites