EPL Daily 1.7: EPL Clubs Fall, Alves to Citeh?, Drogba to AC Milan?, and more…

SVEN-GORAN ERIKSSON: Calls for David Beckham’s 100th cap. And apparently Sven is now after another Brazilian. This time it is Heereveen’s goalscorer Afonso Alves who reported could cost around $30 million. Alves would be a good candidate to replace and improve upon the wantaway Italian Rolando Bianchi as Alves hit for 35 goals in 321 appearances last year with Michael Bradley’s Eredivisie squad.

BEN TOZER: Newcastle won the race for the 17 year old Swindon Town defender. Tozer is nowhere near the class of a Gareth Bale but has shown remarkable promise as of late, finding a first-team spot with League One squad Swindon.

DIDER DROGBA: Could be on his way out of Stamford Bridge – recently being linked to a switch for AC Milan and possible reunion with Jose Mourinho.

MANCHESTER UNITED: The Red Devils are expected to trump Arsenal in their claims of being the richest squad in the EPL. ManYoo is set to announce a whopping $490 million turnover. This might actually do something to quell the anti-Glazer sentiment that has ‘glazed’ United’s faithful. Here’s more.

FA CUP: A host of 3rd Round games saw 6 Premiership bite the dust with another 8 being to held to replays. Major losses – Everton (everytime I talk them up, they come crashing down), Blackburn, Bolton, and Birmingham. Big replay: Luton vs. Liverpool. Dempsey’s Fulham vs. Bristol Rovers. Replays will take place on January 15th and 16th, 2008. Your fourth round match-ups look like this if you’re curious. Click below for quick match recaps…

Saturday, January 5th

Cardiff 3, Chasetown 1
An ass-whooping that started out shakily thanks to Kevin McNaughton’s own goal in the 17th minute. Three second half goals avoided Cardiff’s embarassment.

Norwich 1, Bury 1
Late goals from Gary Doherty for Norwich and Andy Bishop for Bury secured a replay. It was Norwich that did most of the talking though.

Walsall 0, Millwall 0
American centre-back Zak Whitbread stole the spotlight helping Millwall blank Walsall, but the offense was sputtering and couldn’t grab the win.

Plymouth 3, Hull 2
A nail-biter but Plymouth’s united offense overcame Dean Windass’ solo effort for Hull.

Wolves 2, Cambridge United 1
Conference side Cambridge had 1 shot, a PK, and put it away, but the Wolves came back in front of their home crowd to save their dignity with two late goals.

Preston 1, Scunthorpe 0
Simon Whaley helped Preston continue their domination of Scunthorpe with a goal in the 49th minute.

Southampton 2, Leicester 0
Two first half goals from Andrew Surman and Gregory Vignal put the Foxes away and So’ton through to the fourth round.

Southend 5, Dag & Red 2
The goal fest was rather tempered until the last 20 minutes when Southend blasted League Two squad Dag & Red for 3 goals.

Barnsley 2, Blackpool 1
Stephen Foster and Michael Coulson goals late in the game ruined Blackpool’s even play and one goal lead with very little time to fight back. Barnsley pushed through to 4th round.

Coventry 4, Blackburn 1
Yep, you see this right, and Maltese assassin Michael Mifsud led the charge with two goals – starting and ending the rout of the Rovers. Brad Friedel fought the good fight but succumbed to the finishing clinic Mifsud and his Coventry City teams were putting on.

Sheffield United 1, Bolton 0
David Carney was the hero for the Blades, while an unimpressive Bolton squad laid down and took it. New signing for Gary Megson, Tamir Cohen, looked half-decent.

Wigan 3, Sunderland 0
Roy Keane was an angry angry man after this one as Wigan spread out the magic to blank a hapless Sunderland squad.

Swansea 1, Havant and Waterlooville 1
Swansea bombarded the Conference side’s nets but Havant and W. stood tall, grabbing a late equalizer from Rocky Baptiste to secure a replay. Biggest highlight was the brawl that took place with about 10 minutes to go. Two red cards were issued.

Mansfield 2, Brighton 1
League Two over League One in this one. All was taken care of in the first half goal-scoring wise, but that was mainly because Brighton’s pitiful shot accuracy. 1 shot on frame.

Middlesbrough 2, Bristol City 1
At least Gareth Southgate can find the decency in this. He can thank Stewart Downing and David Wheater for that – both scored to dispatch of Bristol City.

Swindon 1, Barnet 1
A dead lock which saw two late goals cancel each other. Adam Birchall was the hero for Barnet.

Charlton 1, W.B.A. 1
Man City loanee Ishmael Miller cancelled out Zheng Zhi’s second minute strike to grab a replay chance at home for West Brom. Charlton dominated though but came up empty.

Tottenham 2, Reading 2
Spurs’ faithful are going to be begging Berbatov to stay after this one, while Reading might do the same for Stephen Hunt for Reading (difference: Hunt doesn’t want to leave). Both supplied classy braces, but neither were the difference in a 2-2 deadlock. Reading get the shot at home now.

Tranmere 2, Hereford 2
All four goals were scored in the span of 10 minutes, but no one could hold the other at bay.

Chelsea 1, Q.P.R 0
An own goal was the difference. Not a great performance from Chelski. Nice to see Steve Sidwell actually get some playing time though.

Peterborough 3, Colchester 1
League Two side Peterborough continued their trend of being the FA Cup slayers of Colchester.

Watford 2, Crystal Palace 0
An odd brace from defender Danny Shittu sunk Crystal Palace with Jay DeMerit playing a big part in the back that kept Palace gun James Scowcroft quiet.

Oldham 1, Everton 0
No one was expecting this and it certainly wasn’t pretty. Gary McDonald dealt the blow while an odd-looking Everton side seemed lost without the services of Timmy Howard.

West Ham United 0, Manchester City 0
Nothing pretty as West Ham tried their best to break Corluka and Citeh’s defense, but ultimately Sven got what he wanted – rest for Elano.

Manchester United 2, Aston Villa 0
Class comes through again – from two regulars – Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo. They did it with dramatic poise as well, firing home the winners with less than 10 minutes to go.

Huddersfield 2, Birmingham City 1
EPL squad gone – thanks to Huddersfield’s Chris Brandon. Momentum was provided by Luke Beckett, whose 4th minute strike put Birmingham City on their toes.

Portsmouth 1, Ipswich 0
Young Shane Trotter’s sending off in the early minutes put a damper on Ipswich’s great effort. Even then, Spanish striker Counago almost put Ipswich through several times but ultimately missed the mark.

Sunday, January 6th

Arsenal 2, Burnley 0
Eduardo and Bendtner secured the prospect of no surprises. Matters were helped by upcoming star Kyle Lafferty’s sending off in the 60th minute.

Luton 1, Liverpool 1
Crouch put the Reds in front only for Jon Arne Riise to help Luton equalize three minutes later with an own goal.

Sheffield Wednesday 2, Derby 2
All was spelled out in the first half as Derby came back from two down to tie up Frankie Simek’s squad. Simek didn’t play, but Eddie Lewis did – all 90 minutes. Kenny Miller and Giles Barnes were the saviors for the Rams.

Stoke 0, Newcastle 0
A bore draw that isn’t going to help Sam Allardyce’s chances, especially since the match was oddly even-up quality-wise.

Fulham 2, Bristol Rovers 2
Not many people can be surprised with this one. Dempsey played all ninety minutes, but it was David Healy who provided last-minute heroics – tying the game up at 2 apiece with 15 minutes to go.

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