All the factz for today’s seven Premier League matches

There are seven Premier League matches today, with the big match coming at tea-time, when Manchester City take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. But there are plenty of other interesting games as clubs look to build on good starts – or put bad ones behind them. There are the factz you need:

Huddersfield Town v Tottenham Hotspur (12.30) Live on Sky Sports Premier League

* This is the first top-flight meeting between the sides since 1972.
* The Terriers are unbeaten at home this season with one win and 2 draws and have conceded just once.
* However, Spurs have won all 3 of their away matches so far.
* Huddersfield have kept 4 clean sheets in 6 PL matches.
* Harry Kane has scored more goals on his own than 7 PL team’s have managed in total this year in all competitions. He’s bagged 34 so far.

AFC Bournemouth v Leicester City

* Bournemouth won this fixture 1-0 last season. The return fixture ended 1-1.
* Both sides have had awful starts to the season – Bournemouth have had 5 defeats and Leicester 4.
* The Cherries have kept just 2 clean sheets in 14 home PL matches.
* Leicester’s last 6 defeats have all come against last season’s top 6.
* Don’t expect a goal-fest – the past 4 matches have only garnered 5 goals.

Manchester United v Crystal Palace

* The omens aren’t good for Palace, who have lost all 6 PL games without scoring – the first side to do that in any of the four divisions.
* United meanwhile have won all 3 home matches without conceding.
* The Eagles have also never beaten United in the PL – losing 13 of their 16 meetings.
* Palace have lost 9 of their last 10 PL matches – failing to score in each defeat.
* Romelu Lukaku have scored 6 goals in 6 PL matches for United this season.

Stoke City v Southampton

* Last season, this fixture ended 0-0. At St Mary’s, Stoke won 0-1. So don’t expect a goal-fest.
* Stoke aren’t on a good run – losing 9 of their last 16 PL matches, including 3 of 6 this season.
* But Saints aren’t faring much better – they’ve lost 11 matches in 2017 so far (23 matches)
* Saints have also failed to score in 10 of their last 14 matches.
* Five of the 10 PL matches between these sides have ended all square.

West Bromwich Albion v Watford

* West Brom beat Watford 3-1 in this fixture last season. Watford gained revenge with a 2-0 win at Vicarage Road.
* The Baggies are unbeaten at home this season – 2 draws and 1 win.
* However, Watford have won all 3 away games.
* Watford’s start – 11 points from 6 games – is their best start to a top flight season since 1982/3. That season they finished 2nd in the old Division 1.
* West Brom have yet to score more than once in a PL game this season, and haven’t scored in their last 2.

West Ham United v Swansea City

* The Hammers did the double over Swansea last season, winning 1-0 at the London Stadium and 1-4 at the Liberty Stadium.
* Swansea have never kept a clean sheet at West Ham.
* Both sides have had poor starts the season – West Ham losing 4 so far and Swansea 3.
* Swansea have scored just 3 goals in the PL this season so far.
* If the Hammers lose, they will replicate their start from last season (1 win, 1 draw and 5 defeats).

Chelsea v Manchester City (5.30) Live on BT Sports1

* Chelsea did the double over City last season – the only team to do so.
* Chelsea have won 10 of their last 12 PL matches, with their only defeat coming on the opening day to Burnley.
* City have become the first side to score 5 or more goals in 3 consecutive top-flight games since Blackburn Rovers in 1958.
* City are unbeaten in their last 14 PL matches (11 wins) – the last side to defeat them was Chelsea.
* Chelsea had scored in 27 consecutive home matches under Antonio Conte – until their 0-0 draw against Arsenal.

Barcelona could join English Premier League, claims Catalan sports minister

Could we see Stoke City v Barcelona on a wet Tuesday night in future? The Catalan sports minister seems to think so, especially if the people of Catalonia vote for independence this weekend.

If Catalonia were to become independent from Spain, it has been said by the Spanish FA that Barcelona – along with other sides from the area such as Espanyol and Girona – would be barred from competing in La Liga.

So, Gerard Figueras, the Catalan sports minister reasons, they could end up applying to compete in another league, such as Serie A, Ligue Un or the Premier League. He noted that clubs from Andorra compete in the Spanish league, while Monaco play in Ligue Un and Welsh clubs are in the English Football League.

However, this scenario is just hypothetical at the moment. The Spanish government has said that Catalonia’s independence referendum is illegal and the Prime Minister has said that the vote won’t happen.

In a recent statement, Barcelona said it would respect the will of the majority of Catalan people.

So, while the idea of Barcelona in the Premier League will remain a dream, its just nice to think about what it would be like. Who wouldn’t want to see Messi and co up close every weekend?

Cristiano Ronaldo hits back at critics after scoring brace against Borussia Dortmund

While he may be one of the best players in the world, Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo still seems to have a queue of people lining up to criticize him – but now he’s hit back at them.

Ronaldo, who scored twice in Real’s 3-1 Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund, has been irked by comments he’s received recently after failing to score in a couple of La Liga matches since his return from injury.

“I am surprised by what the public thinks of me, my numbers speak for themselves, I am an exemplary professional and always have a clear mind. The criticism is getting worse. It seems that I have to keep showing exactly who I am in every match.”

The criticism does seem unmerited, given that he has scored 411 goals in 400 appearances for Madrid in all competitions. That isn’t too shabby a record.

But despite this, Ronaldo added that he is happy and doing what he enjoys. “People talk about me every day around the world [but] I live for football and my family, not for the media.”

Wayne Rooney could be star of next Angry Birds game

Everton striker Wayne Rooney could become a character in the next Angry Birds game, after the developer behind it signed a sponsorship deal with the Merseyside club.

Finnish app developer Rovio has signed a deal to be a sleeve sponsor on Everton’s shirts – after the Premier League allowed them for this season.

And, as part of this link-up, Everton could be part of a new version of Angry Birds in the future, with Rooney and others potentially included in the game.

Speaking to the Press Association, Ville Heijari, Rovio Entertainment’s chief marketing officer, said: “We have a history of doing Angry Bird homages of real-life characters so obviously now we are in collaboration (with Everton) we can work together to bring interesting characters and profiles into the games.

“Potentially Wayne Rooney would be involved.

“It is not just enough that we reach mobile players; we want to reach sports fans, television spectators, so it is a big audience we are going after.”

Manchester United and Chelsea chase Italian wonderkid Pietro Pellegri

Manchester United and Chelsea are both thought to be interested in signing 16-year-old Genoa striker Pietro Pellegri – but the club’s chairman has slapped a £40 million pricetag on his head.

Pellegri, who was born in 2001 (!), first came to prominence last season when he made his debut at 15 and became the youngest scorer in Serie A history last season. He has started this campaign promisingly, scoring twice in Genoa’s 3-2 defeat to Lazio.

Juventus are also said to be interested, and he is most likely on the radar of Europe’s other top clubs, who would be looking to sign him up relatively cheaply. The valuation of 18-year-old Kylian Mbappe at £166 million by Paris St-Germain has sent values for teenagers rocketing.

However, Genoa’s chairman Enrico Preziosi isn’t looking to sell the starlet, and has put the £40 million pricetag on his head to ward off potential suitors – at least for now, according to a report in The Sun.