Calm Alli targets title push

Dele Alli hopes Tottenham can remain under the radar in the Premier League title race even after Wednesday's fine 2-0 victory against leaders Chelsea.

The England international scored both goals in the White Hart Lane clash as the Blues' 13-match winning run was brought to an end.

The result lifts Spurs up to third in the table but Chelsea still lead the standings by five points from second-placed Liverpool.

"This was a massive game. I don't think there's any hiding how big this game was for Tottenham, for the club and for the fans as well," said Alli.

"There were a lot of things that went into it and you saw that from the performance of the boys. We fought from the first whistle to the last and it was a deserved win.

"It's a big statement for us but we're happy to stay under the radar and take each game as it comes. We did that last season."

Meanwhile, Eric Dier believes Spurs can take confidence from the victory and launch a title challenge in the second half of the season.

Last term Mauricio Pochettino's side were Leicester City's main challengers for the title before fading in the last few weeks and eventually finishing third, while they can be backed at 50/1 to win the 2016/17 title.

Dier said: "To stop their winning streak, that was nice, and at the same time to close the gap on them.

"There are bigger things in our minds than just stopping them though. We want to do well ourselves and that was a big statement from us. Hopefully we can go even further."

Spurs turn their focus to the FA Cup this weekend and their third round encounter with Aston Villa. They can be backed at 10/1 to beat the Championship side 3-1 while Alli is 6/4 to score at any time in the match. The odds on Spurs winning Sunday's game to nil are 6/5.

Feghouli appeal boost for Hammers

West Ham will have Sofiane Feghouli available for their next three games after successfully appealing against his red card against Manchester United.

The 27-year-old Algeria international attacking midfielder was red-carded by referee Mike Dean 15 minutes into Monday evening's 2-0 home defeat against Manchester United at the London Stadium after he went in for a challenge with Red Devils' defender Phil Jones.

Hammers boss Slaven Bilic was furious about the decision and claimed Jones did not help Feghouli by making a meal of the tackle.

As a result the club lodged an appeal and it was confirmed by the Football Association on Wednesday afternoon that Feghouli's three-match ban has been withdrawn following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing.

The ruling means Feghouli will now be available for West Ham's FA Cup third round clash with Manchester City at the London Stadium on Friday night, along with the Premier League matches against Crystal Palace at home and Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.

Friday's opponents City will be without midfielder Fernandinho after they failed in their bid to overturn the midfielder's red card in Monday's 3-1 win against Burnley at the Etihad Stadium.

The 31-year-old Brazilian was sent off for a two-footed challenge on Johann Berg Gudmundsson to collect his third red card of the season and he will now miss City's next four matches.

In addition to the FA Cup game, he will also miss the league games against Everton, Tottenham and the Hammers.

West Ham are 9/2 to win Friday's cup encounter, while City can be backed at 4/7 and the draw is 15/4.

Gestede seals Boro switch

Rudy Gestede has completed his transfer from Aston Villa to Middlesbrough for around £6million on a three-and-a-half-year deal.

The 28-year-old Benin international, who moved to Villa from Blackburn Rovers in summer 2015, has scored 10 goals in 55 appearances for the Midlands outfit, including four this term as the club battle to make an immediate return to the Premier League.

Gestede has struggled for first-team action since boss Steve Bruce replaced Roberto Di Matteo at Villa Park in October with just three starts.

However, he will now get an opportunity to resurrect his career in the Premier League in the second half of the season by becoming Boro head coach Aitor Karanka's first January signing.

"Boro have completed the signing of Rudy Gestede from Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee," the club said on their website.

Gestede will challenge Alvaro Negredo for a place in Karanka's preferred one-man striker formation and look to help the club improve on their goals output as they are currently the joint-lowest scorers in the league with 17 goals in 20 games.

Boro currently sit in 16th position in the Premier League and are four points clear of the relegation places, but Gestede's debut is likely to come in Sunday's FA Cup third round tie against Championship outfit Sheffield Wednesday at the Riverside Stadium.

Boro, who are 1/2000 to be relegated from the Premier League after just one season, are 23/20 to win this weekend, while the Owls can be backed at 29/10 and the draw is 9/4.

Mariners boosted by City draw

Ending a four-game losing run has restored some confidence to Central Coast, says striker Blake Powell.

The Mariners claimed a point from a 2-2 draw with Melbourne City on New Year's Eve, and went into 2017 just four points outside the Finals Series places.

Paul Okon's side have been conceding far too many goals this season – their goal difference of -14 is the worst in the league – but only failed to beat City when they conceded a penalty in the last minute.

Powell says some confidence has been restored by holding the championship contenders.

Now they need to use that boost when they take on unbeaten league leaders Sydney FC in Gosford on Sunday.

Speaking of the City clash, Powell said: "It doesn't matter how much they spend on their team or how much we spend on our team, we can easily match it with them. We ran over the top of them, so we can match it with these big clubs and it gives us confidence.

"We're coming off a good performance on the weekend, I was very impressed by everyone, it was easily one of our best games we've played, just the intensity levels, our fitness levels are up there now so we're competing with the best teams in the league."

The Mariners conceded 13 goals during their four-game losing skid, falling to Western Sydney, Wellington, Brisbane and Melbourne Victory.

Powell said the squad were in good spirits as they look to become the first team to beat Graham Arnold's side in the league.

The former Sydney FC player said: "It's one game, but it'll be a very important game, first team to knock them off and it'll give us more confidence to continue on the season and hopefully can get into a nice form patch and work our way up the ladder."

Central Coast are 12121/1 to win the Grand Final.

The Mariners are 8/1 to beat Sydney FC, who are 1/3 with the draw 17/4.

Glory furious at Williams talk

Perth Glory are determined to hold onto defender Rhys Williams and not lose him to an approach from Sydney FC that they regard as disrespectful.

The 28-year-old is wanted by the league leaders, and Perth have done little to help that situation by leaving him out of the last three games.

Williams is entitled to talk to other clubs under A-League rules, as his marquee contract expires at the end of this season.

But the club's CEO Peter Filopoulos has made it clear the Glory are furious with Sydney FC's pursuit of their defender.

Sky Blues coach Graham Arnold said with the transfer window opening, they would be looking at Williams as he was a "top-quality player".

Filopoulos, though, insists that as Williams is contracted to his team Arnold shouldn't be discussing interest in him.

He says there is a clause in the defender's contract that could see him stay with the Glory for another season.

"It's disrespectful and damaging to our football club," said Filopoulos of Arnold's comments. "We are a proud club with over 20 years history and we will not accept this intolerable behavior by a rival club."

Williams, who joined after spending nine years with Middlesbrough, has also been linked with a transfer-window move to Asia.

The 14-cap Socceroo has only started seven of Perth's 13 A-League games this season. He doesn't have the best of disciplinary records since returning to Australia, having picked up six yellow cards.

Perth are hoping to ward off any further interest in their players as they look to recapture some form in the league. They haven't won in six games, picking up just three points in that time.

Perth are 10/1 to win the Grand Final.

The Glory are 10/11 to win their next game against Wellington, who are 14/5 with the draw 14/5.

Roar bid to shake off Sky Blues loss

Matt McKay says Brisbane Roar are chomping at the bit to start another unbeaten sequence, after going down to Sydney FC last time out.

The Roar had put together a 10-game unbeaten run before losing 2-0 to the Sky Blues, but a return to Suncorp Stadium will have them in confident mood to take on Newcastle on Saturday.

John Aloisi's side have an excellent home record this season, with three wins and three draws, and have only conceded four goals in their six games in front of their own fans.

As well as the incentive of bouncing back following their loss to the league leaders, Brisbane will want revenge for a 4-0 defeat to the Jets in round 2.

Sydney FC's record-breaking run of 13 unbeaten games from the start of the season has given them a big advantage in the race for the Premier's Plate.

Brisbane, though, are one of three teams who would regard themselves as having a legitimate chance of hauling in the Sky Blues over the second half of the season.

They are currently 12 points behind Graham Arnold's side, and McKay admits their defeat to them on Friday was a disappointment.

"There were key moments that cost us and then we couldn't break them down," he said. "The beautiful thing about football is that there's a game every week so we can show everyone what we're about on Saturday."

McKay says the Roar have come a long way since they crashed to the Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium in October.

"I think we can show that this weekend," he added. "We haven't been at our best in some games but have managed to get results; we're full strength and have a number of players in form."

Brisbane, who have gone 13 games unbeaten at Suncorp Stadium, will take on a Jets side who are just outside the top six.

"We love playing at Suncorp Stadium. If we can focus on our performance and do the right things then we'll be hard to stop at home," said McKay.

Brisbane are 9/1 to win the Grand Final.

The Roar are 7/10 to beat Newcastle, who are 17/4 with the draw 13/10.

Toure expects fight from City

Midfielder Yaya Toure says he and his Manchester City team-mates are determined to fight all the way to try and win the Premier League title this season.

The Citizens, 4500/1 to be crowned champion, trail league leaders Chelsea by seven points ahead of the action on Wednesday evening, with the men from Manchester having lost three of their last seven league games.

And Toure accepts that further slip-ups in the second half of the season must be avoided if a title challenge is to be maintained, although he has confidence that City have got what it takes to overhaul their rivals.

Toure, who also rejected talk of a possible City exit before the transfer window slams shut at the end of the month, said: "Chelsea are in a good way, but we are going to fight until the end, make it difficult.

"At the moment, we are in not (in our best form), but we have to be able to deliver.

"City have always been a team who fight to the end to win a trophy and at the moment we are not happy with the position in the league.

"We are starting the second half of the season now and I think we will have to be almost perfect. We'll have to win all the games when we play the top four."

The next challenge on the agenda for Toure and City is a Friday night trip to the London Stadium to take on West Ham in an FA Cup third round tie.

The league meeting of the two sides at the Etihad Stadium in late August ended in a 3-1 win for the hosts, with Raheem Sterling scoring twice for the Citizens.

City are available at 4/7 to win in 90 minutes on Friday and are 17/2 to claim a 2-1 victory, with Toure and co. 8/1 to go all the way and win the FA Cup this season.

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Clement helps Swans to victory

New Swansea City boss Paul Clement made his mark as his side climbed off the foot of the Premier League table with a 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace.

A late Angel Rangel strike gave the Swans only their fourth win of the league season and lifted spirits in the Swans camp on the same day that Clement was confirmed in his new role.

And, while caretaker boss Alan Curtis was in charge at Selhurst Park, he was quick to talk up the influence of Clement, who made a contribution from his position in the stands.

Curtis said: "Paul came down, he made a real positive contribution.

"Met him the first time this afternoon – he came into the dressing room to talk to the players prior to the game and also came down at half-time, then right at the end there, was involved in the substitutes as well.

"He came down, he took an active part in it, he took it from the off. He made a real positive contribution.

"That's why he took the job (because he believes he can survive). He said he had the security of a fantastic job at Bayern Munich, some of the world's top players, top of the league, Champions League, but he wanted the challenge.

"He probably would have been surprised himself about how well we played, but we've got to take it on from here now."

Following their win, which moved them to within a point of 17th-placed Palace, Swansea are 25/1 to be relegated this season, with the Eagles priced at 16/1 and Middlesbrough available at 1/2000.

The Swans are in FA Cup third round action on Saturday, when they head to Humberside to take on Premier League table-proppers Hull City.

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Wenger praises Gunners strength

Arsene Wenger praised the mental strength of his Arsenal side after they fought back from three goals down to claim a 3-3 draw away to Bournemouth.

The Gunners looked set for a damaging defeat when they trailed 3-0 with 20 minutes to play on the south coast, but goals from Alexis Sanchez and Lucas Perez gave them hope, before Olivier Giroud headed in a last-minute equaliser.

And, while the result leaves Arsenal with even more ground to make up in the Premier League title race, Wenger saw reasons to be positive after a tough night against the Cherries.

He told reporters: "It was a physical and mental test – they started much faster, but we showed we are mentally strong.

"At 3-0 down after 70 minutes you'd take a point, but in the end we were frustrated not to win the game.

"We wanted to win the game and we wanted three points, but on the other hand some big teams have dropped points here.

"When you are 3-0 down you have to acknowledge the quality of the response of your team."

The result leaves the Gunners eight points adrift of league leaders Chelsea, who are in action on Wednesday evening when they make the short trip to White Hart Lane to take on Tottenham.

Arsenal are back in action at teatime on Saturday when they head to Preston North End for an FA Cup third round tie.

The Londoners are 4/11 to win in 90 minutes at Deepdale, are 13/2 to claim a 2-0 victory and can be backed at 9/4 to lift the FA Cup this season.

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Gestede close to Villa exit

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has revealed that he is close to signing a new player while Rudy Gestede is on the verge of moving to Middlesbrough.

However, the former Hull City boss is unwilling to bring too many new players to Villa Park in January as there have been so many changes at the club in the last 18 months.

He said after Monday's defeat at Cardiff City, which left Villa 12th in the Championship table and 4500/1 to be promoted this season: "There is one deal we hope is imminent but that is it as far as we are aware.

"I am not just going to bring people to the club unless they can improve us.

"We have had nine [new players] arrive last summer, 13 the summer before that. I am here to bring stability and I will try my utmost to get that but people know managers do not get time."

Meanwhile, Benin international Gestede joined Villa from Blackburn in July 2015 and has scored ten goals in 55 appearances for the club. However, the 28-year-old has started only three games since Bruce was appointed manager in October.

"I would envisage something would happen there," Bruce added. "The two clubs have agreed a fee and he's up there for talks."

Villa can be backed at 10/1 to beat Tottenham in the FA Cup this weekend and at 50/1 to win the third-round encounter 2-0.