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Cian Cheesbrough
Roy Hodgson returns to the Crystal Palace dugout against Leicester this weekend
Roy Hodgson returns to the Crystal Palace dugout against Leicester this weekend

LiveScore Daily is here to deliver all the big talking points from the world of football throughout the day. Keep refreshing this page for the latest stories in bite-sized chunks.

Tight at the bottom

Returning Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson believes this season's fierce relegation battle is the tightest ever.

Palace sit 12th in the table but are among nine teams at significant risk of the drop as just four points separate them from rock-bottom Southampton.

Hodgson, 75, is back in the Selhurst Park hotseat having replaced Patrick Vieira, with the South Londoners currently on a dismal winless run of 13 games in 2023.

Ahead of facing fellow relegation rivals Leicester tomorrow, the ex-England boss was asked if he had ever seen a survival scrap so intense.

He responded: "No. I think this season is exceptional in that respect.

"You don't normally have almost a whole bottom section of the table all fighting to avoid relegation and you certainly don't see so many teams which most people would say, 'They can’t get relegated, they’re too big a club to get relegated'. 

"I think that's unusual in that respect this year.

"We go into the last 10 games with a very exciting scenario at both ends because we still aren't 100% certain who the champions are going to be and who the top four are going to be.

"So there's an awful lot to play for in these last 10 games.

"But I've got to say the only games that will really interest me are the ones that we play and maybe watching the games that our opponents play to get some idea of how good they are."

Emery targeting top half

Unai Emery has picked up 26 points from a possible 42 as Aston Villa boss
Unai Emery has picked up 26 points from a possible 42 as Aston Villa boss

Aston Villa boss Unai Emery has set his side the challenge of finishing in the top half this season.

The 51-year-old has been in the Villa Park hotseat for five months, picking up eight wins from his 14 Premier League matches to steer the club away from relegation trouble and into 11th.

Villa were just a point above the drop zone when the Basque boss succeeded Steven Gerrard but are now level with 10th-placed Chelsea ahead of the pair's game at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.

He said: "When I arrived here we were struggling at the bottom of the table, but the reaction from the players, club, supporters and coaches was amazing and we have now really escaped from the bottom positions.

"Now we can think about a new challenge and that challenge is to be in the top 10. We have this opportunity starting this Saturday and the challenge we have in front is amazing for everybody.

"The process for me was to try to escape the bottom, try to improve things, try to organise, to be consistent, try to be competitive and then stay demanding with myself, demanding with the players. 

"Try to analyse everything and be demanding tactically and individually and be ambitious. Now we are in a good position to change our mind."

The Villans are currently enjoying a four-game unbeaten run in the league, during which they have conceded only once.

Hammer time

David Moyes' West Ham host relegation rivals Southampton on Sunday
David Moyes' West Ham host relegation rivals Southampton on Sunday

David Moyes insists his West Ham players are ready to fight for Premier League survival.

The Hammers spent the international break in the relegation zone and face a crucial clash with bottom-side Southampton on Sunday.

And Moyes is confident his side are up to the task as they prepare for a 10-game battle to retain their Premier League status. 

The Scot said: "Yes, I do, I think the players are ready. I think we're in a good frame of mind and we’re ready to go and hopefully, go on and try and pick up the points to make sure that we're not near the bottom end of the league. 

"Our results in Europe have been really, really good — 10 matches unbeaten — and that’s kept us going a little bit, kept the belief.

"We're certainly not acting behind the scenes like we are a team in the wrong part of the league. 

"I see the players around the club in good spirits and that's partly because of our results in Europe."

WSL growth continues

Last Friday's Merseyside derby attracted 22,161 supporters at Goodison Park
Last Friday's Merseyside derby attracted 22,161 supporters at Goodison Park

The FA have announced more than 500,000 fans have attended Women's Super League matches this season — the first time the milestone has been passed.

Following on from England's Euros success last summer, a WSL record 47,367 supporters watched Arsenal beat Tottenham 4-0 at the Emirates last September.

A host of other top-flight games have taken place at men's Premier League grounds since, with last weekend seeing 27,919 watch Manchester United versus West Ham at Old Trafford and the Merseyside derby attracting 22,161 at Goodison Park.

The Women's Championship has also attracted more than 100,000 fans this term.

FA director for the women's game Kelly Simmons said: "The interest in our leagues this season has been really encouraging.   

"This growth yet again shows the impact of the Lionesses' triumph last summer and the positivity surrounding the leagues and clubs."

Howe will stick to football

Eddie Howe's Newcastle host Manchester United on Sunday
Eddie Howe's Newcastle host Manchester United on Sunday

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe insists he and his players will focus on matters on the pitch amid ongoing debate over the club's ownership.

Premier League clubs yesterday unanimously voted to strengthen their owners and directors test with tighter restrictions on human rights abusers.

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund hold an 80% stake in the Magpies and Amnesty International has called for its involvement at St James' Park to be examined.

Toon boss Howe, 45, said: "I don't think anything will affect the players because we're used to, me included, headlines and news about ownership and different things.

"But for us, it's always about the football and it's always about making sure when we take the pitch, we're the best team we can be."

Meanwhile, Howe is hopeful goalkeeper Nick Pope will be fit for Sunday's crucial top-four clash with Manchester United after pulling out of the England squad last week.

He added: "Nick felt a problem in his thigh after the Wolves game and didn't train in preparation for the Nottingham Forest game. 

"He completed that game with a bit of discomfort, so didn't train when we were in Dubai.

"He has trained this week, so the signs are good."

Notts County chief passes away

Notts County chief executive Jason Turner has died at the age of 50, the National League club have announced.

A statement said: "We are devastated to report the loss of our much-loved chief executive, Jason Turner.

"Jason, who passed away suddenly last night, was appointed in 2016 and devoted himself to the club thereafter.

"He was an outstanding CEO who was respected across football having also worked for Bath City, Newport County, Plymouth Argyle and Cardiff City."


Crystal PalacePremier LeagueNewcastle UnitedNotts Co.Women’s Super LeagueAston VillaWest Ham United
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