Afternoon all and welcome to a very busy Saturday afternoon indeed.
In the Premier League, four frighteningly out-of-form teams combine for two games – Southampton v Everton and Burnley v West Ham – that many fans will be watching through their fingers. Keep your eyes on St Mary’s in particular, where a heavy defeat for either side could well result in a desk being cleared on Monday morning. Elsewhere there’s a clash of styles at St James’ Park, where Eddie Howe’s entertainers take on Steve Bruce’s thrill-killers – Bournemouth able to climb to fifth a win – and a quietly intriguing meeting in north London, where newly promoted minnows will very much fancy their chances at the home of last season’s Champions League finalists. Funny old game.
In the Championship, West Brom travel to Hull looking to maintain their position at the summit, though a failure to win could see them leapfrogged by one or all of Preston, Leeds and Swansea. And Michael O’Neill’s first in charge of rock-bottom Stoke is against … second-bottom Barnsley. Lovely stuff.
Oh, and to offset all that garish glamour, there’s a full 27 [twenty-seven] FA Cup ties to boot, with Nantwich Town, AFC Fylde and Solihull Moors all in action. Fire up the kettle.