Wolves dig for victory

Wolves skipper Conor Coady said his team dug in to withstand Bristol City pressure and win through to the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Ivan Cavaleiro scored the only goal of the game at Ashton Gate as Premier League Wolves beat their Championship opponents 1-0.

City are in the Championship play-off places and put sustained pressure on the Wolves goal in the second half with both Jay Dasilva and Matty Taylor going close.

However, they couldn't force an equaliser and Wolves are in the last eight of the FA Cup for the first time since 2003.

Coady said afterwards that the team had shown the resilience necessary to beat determined opponents.

He told BT Sport: "It was a frantic second half, we knew it was going to be tough. I thought we dominated in the first half, but we stuck in there and showed we could defend.

"We knew we'd have defend. Sometimes you have got to dig in.

"We wanted to keep the same system as last year, we have a manager who's got an identity for this and we wanted to stick with that."

Wolves are seventh in the Premier League table in an impressive first season back in the top flight and only two of the sides above them will be in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

Manchester City have already booked their place, beating League Two Newport on Saturday while Monday night sees the final fifth round tie when Chelsea host Manchester United.

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo said, on who he wanted in the quarter-finals, that he would just be happy to have a home tie at Molineux.

Wolves beat Liverpool in the third round of the competition, overcoming League One Shrewsbury after a replay in the fourth round.

Wolves are next in action on Saturday when they travel to the south coast to take on AFC Bournemouth. They are 8/5 for the win with Eddie Howe's side 17/10 and the draw 9/4.

Wolves are 12/1 to finish in the top six in the Premier League, they are 11 points behind sixth-placed Chelsea.

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Spurs stay in the hunt

Tottenham ensured the bid to win the Premier League remains a three-horse race after beating Leicester City 3-1 at Wembley.

The Foxes contributed much to an entertaining game and Jamie Vardy should have equalised from the penalty spot shortly after coming on, but Spurs made the points safe with a last minute goal from Son Heung-min.

Mauricio Pochettino's side took the lead just after half an hour when Davinson Sanchez scored his first goal for the club.

Leicester had a glorious chance to draw level, Vardy coming off the bench to take a penalty but Hugo Lloris made the save.

It was to prove a costly miss as Spurs doubled their lead just minutes later, Christian Eriksen scoring the goal.

Vardy made amends by getting on the scoresheet, converting Ricardo Pereira's cross and that left the Foxes with a quarter of an hour to try and force an equaliser.

However, despite late pressure they couldn't get a second and the home side made the game safe just before the end, Son getting the goal to continue the fine form he's shown since returning from Asian Cup action.

It was a fourth successive league win for Spurs who remain third in the Premier League table, five points off joint leaders Liverpool and Manchester City.

They are back at Wembley on Wednesday night for the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie with Borussia Dortmund.

They are 13/10 for the win with the German side 19/10 and the draw is 5/2.

Having been knocked out of the FA Cup Spurs then have 10 days off before returning to the Premier League, away to Burnley on 23rd February.

Spurs are 10/1 to reach the Champions League final this year with Manchester City 13/8 and Liverpool 4/1.

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Pogba revels in United form

Paul Pogba says he is delighted with Manchester United's run of form but there is no time to relax with so many big games ahead.

The midfielder scored twice for United as they moved into the top four in the Premier League with a 3-0 victory away at struggling Fulham.

Pogba gave United an early lead at Craven Cottage, Anthony Martial scored a second after 23 minutes and Pogba scored his second and United's third with a second half penalty to make the game safe.

It was United's 10th win in 11 games since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over from Jose Mourinho, a run of form that has seen them get back into contention for a place in the Champions League next season.

The win at Fulham moved them above Chelsea into fourth in the table, the Blues needing a point or better at Manchester City on Sunday to climb back above United.

Pogba said after the game that now they are in such a run of form, they have no intention of letting it slip.

He told the BBC: "It feels great, that's what we wanted since Ole came. We talked about this there's still a long way to go but we want to stay there.

"We were very far behind and now we get back to the top four but there's still a long way to go with big games coming up so it won't be easy. The big teams now they just stay there. It will be the big games coming up now that decide where we end the season."

The first of those "big" games comes in midweek when United are in Champions League action with the round of 16 first-leg against Paris St Germain at Old Trafford.

United are 6/4 to win the game and take a lead back to the French capital while PSG are 13/8 and the draw is 5/2.

United then travel to Chelsea in the fifth round of the FA Cup next Monday before a return to the Premier League, at home to Liverpool on 24th February.

United are 6/1 to win the FA Cup this season with Chelsea, who beat them in last year's final 11/2.

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Sarri hails Higuain qualities

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says that new loan signing Gonzalo Higuain is able to offer the team far more than just goals.

Sarri takes his side to champions Manchester City on Sunday with his new striker already off the mark, having scored twice on his Premier League debut when Chelsea beat Huddersfield last weekend.

Having tested himself against the bottom side in the table, Higuian now faces a team at the top but Sarri is confident he will continue to impress with his overall game as well as his goalscoring ability.

Sarri knows the striker well from their time together at Napoli and says he knows what Higuain can offer his Chelsea team.

He told Sky Sports: "He can score, of course, but he is really very able to play with his team-mates too. He can be very useful for Eden [Hazard] and Willian."

That win over Huddersfield was much needed, coming on the back of two defeats including a 4-0 loss away to Bournemouth and Sarri challenged his side to become more consistent if they are to maintain a place in the top four in the Premier League.

"After the match against Huddersfield, I was really very happy with the result and performance, but I know now we need consistency. We have to stay at this same level of performance for a long time, especially mentally," he added.

Manchester United have moved into fourth place in the table after victory over Fulham but Chelsea would move back above them with a point at the Etihad Stadium.

Chelsea are 6/1 to win Sunday's match with Pep Guardiola's side 1/2 and the draw 18/5.

Sarri hopes to have Antonio Rudiger back in the squad after the defender missed the Huddersfield game with a knee injury.

Callum Hudson-Odoi has a fever and will be assessed nearer to kick off.

Higuain is 8/1 to score the first goal at the Etihad while Chelsea are 20/1 to win the game 1-0.

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Ranieri seeking soldiers

Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri says he is looking for the players to be "soldiers" fighting till the end to stave off relegation.

The Cottagers are deep in trouble, second bottom of the Premier League table, seven points off safety.

They face a tough match this weekend, in-form Manchester United the visitors to Craven Cottage and Ranieri says, from now until the end of the season, the squad have to fight for their survival.

At a press conference ahead of the Manchester United game, the Fulham boss said: "The job in every season is different. We know where we are, we know it's a very tough moment.

"We need soldiers who will fight until the end. That is my opinion, my philosophy.

"We know we are playing a very big team. They are fighting for the Champions League and also to achieve the Champions League for next year, but we are ready to fight in every moment."

Fulham are 9/2 to win on Saturday with Manchester United 4/7 and the draw 3/1.

Ranieri was active in the January transfer window, bringing midfielders Lazar Markovic and Havard Nordtveit to the club.

Both are yet to make their debuts for the club and, while they won't be available on Saturday, Ranieri hopes they will be ready to face West Ham later this month.

Fulham won their last home game, beating Brighton 4-2 and Ranieri says the Craven Cottage crowd can be influential in their survival fight.

"I had to motivate the players, be positive to give positivity to my players. I hope also our fans at home give us something more to be solid and concentrate until the end," he added.

Fulham are 1/5 to be relegated at the end of the season while United are 11/8 to finish in the top four.

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Emery addresses away form

Arsenal boss Unai Emery says that Arsenal can still finish in the top four of the Premier League, but only if they can improve away from home.

The Gunners are currently sixth in the table, three points behind Chelsea who sit in fourth.

However, their bid to gain a Champions League place in Emery's first season in charge is being undermined by their form away from the Emirates.

They haven't won away in the league since November and were beaten 3-1 at Manchester City last weekend.

They have the chance to gain a first away win of 2019 in the Premier League at bottom side Huddersfield Town on Saturday and Emery says his focus is on improving on their travels as they bid to climb back into the top four.

He said at a press conference ahead of the game with the Terriers: "We can make the top four, but we know it's not easy.

"We are strong at home, but I think we need to do better away. We started very well, changing our mentality to get more points away.

"But now we need to recover our confidence and performance. Also we know defensively we need to do better.

"We tried to play with three and two centre-backs. Be passionate, be calm but above all work."

Arsenal are 8/13 to win on Saturday with Huddersfield 4/1 and the draw 3/1.

Emery also used the press conference to give an injury update with Shkodran Mustafi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan both back in full training while Granit Xhaka and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have a chance of being fit for the weekend.

While the Gunners have their troubles away from home, the Terriers have the greater problems going into the game.

They look destined to return to the Championship at the end of the season having won only two games all season, having scored just 13 goals in 25 league games.

Arsenal are 3/1 to finish in the top four while Huddersfield are 1/8 to finish bottom of the table.

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Emery expects physical challenge

Arsenal boss Unai Emery says that he is expecting a physical battle when the Gunners travel to face Brighton on Boxing Day.

They overcame a tough encounter with Burnley over the weekend, winning it 3-1 and Emery is expecting the Seagulls to take a similar approach.

He said ahead of Wednesday's game: "Brighton is the same, a very tough match physically, very organised and, like with Burnley, a very good coach who is working very well.

"It is a challenge and I respect those teams a lot because they also have good players. They decide to do a line-up with physical players with a lot of crosses for the strikers for heading in our box.

"We need to defend very far in our box to defend better against that."

Having suffered two defeats, at Southampton in the league and against Spurs in the EFL Cup, the Gunners got back to winning ways at the weekend, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring twice in a win which took Arsenal level on points with fourth-placed Chelsea in the Premier League table.

However, Emery's preparations for the match on Boxing Day have been hit by injuries in the squad. Midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan is out for up to six weeks after the club confirmed he had a fractured metatarsal, suffered in the cup defeat to Tottenham.

The Arsenal boss also has problems in defence with Rob Holding, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Hector Bellerin all out and Nacho Monreal doubtful after limping off against Burnley.

The Gunners are 8/11 to win on Boxing Day with Brighton 9/2 and the draw 14/5.

Arsenal's festive run of games continues with a trip to face leaders Liverpool on 29th December followed by a match at home to struggling Fulham on New Year's Day.

Emery's side are 13/8 to finish in the top four while they are 1/2 to miss out on a Champions League place.

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Spurs hit six past Toffees

Tottenham entered the busy festive period in great form, hitting six past Everton at Goodison Park.

Mauricio Pochettino's side won 6-2 on Merseyside, falling behind to a goal from Theo Walcott goal but recovering to lead 3-1 at half-time.

Three more in the second half secured an impressive victory as they keep up their chase of the top two in the Premier League, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane getting two goals apiece.

Spurs had early chances in the game but it was the Toffees who went in front, Gylfi Sigurdsson doing well to find Dominic Calvert-Lewin whose cross was converted by Walcott.

Everton thought they had a second just minutes later, Calvert-Lewin heading in but he was ruled to have fouled Davinson Sanchez in getting off the ground.

It was a costly decision as Spurs were level three minutes later, the visitors getting back on level terms after benefitting from a defensive mix-up between Zouma and Jordan Pickford, the ball falling for Son Heung-min who, from a difficult position, slammed it into the far corner of the net.

Spurs were ahead on 36 minutes, Son again involved, his shot was well parried by Pickford but only into the path of Dele Alli who fired home.

Then Kane, having gone close earlier in the game, scored his first and Spurs' third just before the break, Kieran Trippier's free kick hitting the woodwork but the England striker was on hand to side-foot the ball into the net.

So 3-1 to the visitors at the break and the Toffees desperately needed a good start to the second half to get back into the game.

However, it was Spurs who struck just after the restart, getting their fourth with a wonderful goal from Christian Eriksen, a Kane cross headed out only to fall to the Dane whose half-volley flew past Pickford.

Everton gave themselves some hope a couple of minutes later, Sigurdsson riding some challenges and getting a shot in which beat Hugo Lloris.

However, Spurs widened their lead once again with their fifth, Son getting on the end of a slick passing move and finishing well past Pickford.

They weren't finished, emphasising their superiority with a sixth, Kane getting away from Zouma and getting a shot in which beat England team-mate Pickford.

So Tottenham enter the Christmas period as the closest challengers to the top two of Liverpool and Manchester City, sitting third in the table, two points ahead of Chelsea and Arsenal.

Spurs now have three games in seven days, starting off at home to Bournemouth on Boxing Day then hosting Wolves before travelling to play Cardiff on New Year's Day.

Spurs are 1/3 to win at Wembley on Boxing Day with Bournemouth 15/2 and the draw is 4/1.

Spurs are 1/7 to finish in the top four while they are 16/1 to win the title.

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Rudiger criticises Chelsea mentality

Antonio Rudiger said that Chelsea's lack of mentality was to blame for their defeat at home to Leicester City.

The Foxes won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge through a Jamie Vardy strike to send the home side into the Christmas programme in indifferent form.

After a long unbeaten start to the Premier League season the Blues have now suffered their third defeat in six league games to threaten their place in the top four.

They are still fourth in the table but are now only above Arsenal on goal difference.

Rudiger insists that their current form is not good enough and effectively rules them out of the title race; they are now 11 points behind leaders Liverpool. The German told the BBC: "For us in this situation, in the table, it is a disaster.

"With respect [to Leicester] if we cannot win these type of games, we cannot compete.

"It is simple, these teams know how to fight, they are killers. One chance, one goal today. Against Wolves, two chances, two goals. Simple. It's a lack of mentality, I don't know."

The loss to Leicester was Chelsea's first home defeat of the season but the Blues looked the more likely to score first, going closest when Eden Hazard hit the bar.

They then had late chances to get something out of the game, hitting the woodwork again through Marcos Alonso just before the final whistle.

Chelsea now have three games in eight days over the festive period. They are in action on Boxing Day, away to Watford before playing at Crystal Palace on 30th December.

Their first game of 2019 is back at Stamford Bridge, taking on Southampton on 2nd January.

Maurizio Sarri's side are 13/20 to win on Boxing Day with Watford 17/4 and the draw 11/4.

Following those three games they are in FA Cup action, attempting to defend the trophy they won last season.

They are at home to Championship side Nottingham Forest in the third round and are 7/1 to win the cup again next May.

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Puel happy despite cup defeat

Leicester manager Claude Puel said he was left feeling pride after losing to Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup.

The Foxes went out of the tournament, but only on penalties after holding the Premier League champions to a draw on the night.

As his team prepare to face another top team in Chelsea this weekend, Puel said he and the players can take satisfaction from what they achieved at the Etihad.

He told a press conference ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge: "I am happy about our game. We played against a strong team, one of the best in Europe.

"They have an average of three goals a game and we managed our game to get a draw. Unfortunately, we didn't manage our penalties well."

He added that, provided the team have the same mentality as against City, they can go into the weekend's match with confidence.

They are 10/1 for a win on Saturday with Chelsea 1/3 and the draw 9/2.

Jamie Vardy was rested against Manchester City but is in line for a recall while there are doubts over Ben Chilwell and Wilfred Ndidi.

Leicester are 12th in the Premier League table while Chelsea are fourth, having made a good start under new manager Maurizio Sarri.

The game at Stamford Bridge is followed by three matches in seven days over the Christmas period for the Foxes. They play Manchester City again on Boxing Day, this time on home turf and then host Cardiff before travelling to Everton on New Year's Day.

They then have a mini-break from the league, competing in the FA Cup, travelling to League Two Newport in January.

Vardy is 11/4 to score at any time on Saturday while the Foxes are 50/1 to finish the season in the top six of the Premier League.

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