Sat, Aug 25, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Sven hopes City have not been rumbled

AFP, LONDON

Manchester City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson hopes Arsenal have not rumbled his new recruits as the English Premier League leaders prepare to take on the Gunners today.

City, the only team to have won three out of three so far this season, are looking to keep the run going when they do battle in north London.

Chelsea, breathing down their necks, host fifth-placed Portsmouth, while Liverpool travel to Sunderland, who will have been given a roasting by boss Roy Keane following last week's 3-0 defeat to Wigan Athletic.

Champions Manchester United host Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow, with both clubs desperate for a victory.

United are yet to win this season, while Spurs boss Martin Jol could badly do with three points to ward off speculation he is about to be sacked.

"I think for the first two games a lot of people didn't know about some of our players: Martin Petrov maybe, Elano and Geovanni," Eriksson said. "But we will not have that advantage anymore because the managers show videos about the opposition from the previous weeks. I know that [Arsenal manager] Arsene Wenger will do it so I don't think we will live on surprising people anymore."

Second-placed Chelsea host fifth-placed Portsmouth at Stamford Bridge, with Blues boss Jose Mourinho hoping the visitors feel the sharp end of his attack -- and fail to capitalize on their somewhat shaky defending of late.

Chelsea will have to get the better of Pompey goalkeeper David James, who is in form and reinvigorated by his England recall after two years out in the cold.

"I'll be trying to do what I can to jog the [England] manager's mind and hopefully get a shout," James said.

Liverpool travel to Sunderland who are smarting after last weekend's defeat to Wigan.

"We're at home and we can have a go at them," warned Sunderland midfielder Kieran Richardson. "Liverpool are a good side, they have a chance of winning the title and it will be tough for us."

The Reds will be without captain Steven Gerrard, who is being rested due to a fractured toe.

Their city rivals, fourth-placed Everton, host Blackburn Rovers at Goodison Park.

The UEFA Cup side are determined to make their stadium a fortress, starting with the Rovers' visit, Toffees midfielder Lee Carsley said.

"We have got to build our season on our home form and it is a match that we are looking to do well in," he said. "Blackburn have got a lot of skilful players who are hard working. They are tough to play against and a tough team to beat."

Wigan Athletic, third in the table, travel to West Ham United, who are hoping to get a second win out of their hefty spending on new players.

Latics boss Chris Hutchings is pinning his hopes of an away victory on former England forward Emile Heskey's burgeoning relationship with attacking midfielder Antoine Sibierski.

"I'm delighted with the way we've passed the ball, but with all due respect, it helps when you've got better quality players in," Hutchings said.

Newly-promoted sides Derby County and Birmingham City are both winless and in the bottom three but one side has the chance to escape the relegation zone when they clash at Pride Park.

The hosts hope to have Jamaica center-half Claude Davis fit in time, while Birmingham are sweating on Finland striker Mikael Forssell's fitness.

The two sides have not met in the top flight since 1978.

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