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Monday 08 October 2012

Barclays U21s: Villa Park hosts Newcastle

Villa Park welcomes Newcastle and Carrow Road stages Norwich-Everton in full U21 programme

  • Arsene Wenger says there is a good chance Bacary Sagna (left) will face Reading tonight

  • Aston Villa's Graham Burke is enjoying a fruitful strike partnership with Jordan Bowery

  • Sebastian Lletget believes team spirit has been key to West Ham's good form

For all Barclays U21 Premier League news, results and tables click here

Aston Villa will be playing at a Barclays Premier League ground for the second match in succession as they welcome Newcastle United to Villa Park in Barclays Under-21 Premier League Group 2.

Villa earned a 3-3 draw against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane last week but while coach Gordon Cowans is pleased with his side's impressive strike force, he is looking for an improvement at the other end as they bid to leapfrog their opponents into third place in Group 2.

"The partnership looks good between those two. Graham Burke looks sharp and Jordan Bowery is a handful"
Gordan Cowans

"I was a bit disappointed with the goals we conceded," Cowans told the club's offical website. "We need to be defending better than we did last week. We conceded the last one from a corner. We had a corner, they broke away and scored."

Cowans is pleased with the flourishing strike partnership of Jordan Bowery and Graham Burke, however. They scored and assisted each other's goals in the high-scoring draw in north London.

"The partnership looks good between those two," he said. "Burkey looks sharp considering he hasn't played much football for a while. Bowery is a handful. He's a big, powerful lad, a good target man and he has pace as well."

Tickets are free for season-ticket holders, £2 for adults and £1 for concessions.

Carrow Road hosts Everton

Carrow Road also opens its doors to the Barclays Under-21 Premier League as Norwich City look to bounce back from their recent defeat by West Ham United against Everton.

Although the Canaries were on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline last time out they remain just three points off the top of Group 1 thanks to three victories. Everton, however, have won their last two match, the latter a 5-2 victory over Bolton Wanderers.

Tickets for the 7pm kick-off cost £4.50 and can be purchased in advance online, by calling 0844 826 1902 or in person at the ticket offices at Carrow Road or the Canary Store, The Mall. 

West Ham travel to Blackburn Rovers in high spirits after their wins over Arsenal and Norwich. The leaders are refusing to take anything for granted, however, with midfielder Sebastian Lletget insisting the team are keeping their feet on the ground.

"The one thing we do well is treat all every opposition in the same way, whether it be an Arsenal, a Manchester United or another team," the United States Under-23 international told the club website. "We will do the same against Blackburn, treat with respect, hopefully we can keep playing well and get the win."

Sagna comeback at Underhill

Also in Group 1 Arsenal, will be hoping to recover from back-to-back defeats against Norwich and West Bromwich Albion against Reading at Barnet FC, where entry to the match is free.

Jack Wilshere and Emmanuel Frimpong appeared in the 1-0 defeat at The Hawthorns and they are likely to be joined by Bacary Sagna as the France right-back steps up his recovery from a broken leg.

"Sagna needs some games because he has not played for five months"
Arsene Wenger

"Maybe he will play on Monday night," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger last week. "He needs some games because he has not played for five months. He has been in training for a week now so he should be capable of playing for an hour."

Last-placed Bolton will hope to draw inspiration from the Reebok Stadium, where they host an in-form West Brom this evening.

Jay Lynch and Joe Riley could feature for the third-placed hosts, who overcame Arsenal last time out thanks to a goal by Yassine El Ghanassy.

Entrance for adults is £3, concessions £1 and free for season-ticket holders.

Free entry at Britannia Stadium

Stoke City are in action at the Britannia Stadium tonight as they look to build on their morale-boosting away victory at Southampton against Sunderland.

A win for the Potters will lift them off the foot of the table at the expense of sixth-placed Sunderland and spectators can watch the match for free.

The top-of-the-table encounter in the section pits Manchester United against the side they leapfrogged last week, Southampton, after a 4-2 victory against Newcastle.

Federico Macheda scored twice in that game, while visitors to Moss Lane should also get another chance to see Chilean teenager Angelo Henriquez, who also scored against the Magpies, in action.

An enticing contest is in prospect in Group 3 where Middlesbrough will take on group leaders Liverpool at the Riverside. The third-placed hosts achieved an impressive 3-1 victory at Chelsea last time out and can move to within a point of the Reds, who beat Fulham 3-0 last week, with a home win. 

For the Reds myriad pedigree players will be on show, with Spain Under-21 international Daniel Pacheco and Germany Under-21 international Samed Yesil likely to feature as well as Jack Robinson, Conor Coady and Adam Morgan.

Tickets cost £3 and are available from the West stand ticket office.

For all Barclays U21 Premier League news, results and tables click here

Friday 4 October

Fulham 3-1 Chelsea

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Arsenal v Reading, Barnet FC (7pm) Free entry
Blackburn Rovers v West Ham United Leigh Sports Village (7pm)
Bolton Wanderers v West Bromwich Albion, Reebok Stadium (7pm)
Norwich City v Everton, Carrow Road (7pm)

Aston Villa v Newcastle United, Villa Park (7pm)
Manchester United v Southampton, Altrincham FC (7pm)
Stoke City v Sunderland, Britannia Stadium (7.30pm) Free entry

Middlesbrough v Liverpool, Riverside Stadium (7pm)

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Etihad Stadium (7pm)

For all the fixtures and the latest league tables, click here

For latest news on the Barclays U21 Premier League, click here.

You can follow developments on Twitter with the Premier League's account @premierleague or via the hashtag #BU21PL

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Key Points

  • Three Barclays Premier League grounds will open their doors to the Under-21s on Monday night
  • Villa Park, Carrow Road and the Britannia Stadium will see Monday night action
  • Entry free to see Arsenal v Reading at Barnet and Stoke v Sunderland