United, City target domestic reprieve
Nani has vowed that Manchester United will put their midweek disappointment behind them as they welcome Newcastle to Old Trafford on Saturday.United drew 2-2 with Benfica on Tuesday night, leaving them level on points with the Portuguese club in UEFA Champions League Group C but with an inferior goal difference.
It was the first time United have failed to win in six games since they suffered a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City, while the third-minute own goal from Phil Jones was the first goal they had conceded in that run. And Nani told MUTV: "We have been playing good football and have to forget this result and think about the way we have been playing. The way we haven't conceded goals recently and won games is important. We'll try to do that in the next game against Newcastle."
Newcastle's unbeaten start to the season ended last week when they went down 3-1 to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. City were another side to suffer Champions League disappointment this week as they lost 2-1 to Napoli, but they will be looking to end the week on a high note by beating Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.
And James Milner revealed the City squad are also motivated by a desire to make up for last season's 3-0 defeat in the same fixture. "Last year was a poor performance by our normal standards but we'll be going there looking to put it right," Milner told the Manchester Evening News. "Hopefully that will give us that bit extra to go there and get the win."
In Sunday's other game, Aston Villa visit the Liberty Stadium to take on Swansea. Villa are yet to win away from home this season, while Swansea have conceded just two goals in their six games in Wales. Villa were well beaten at Spurs on Monday and midfielder Fabian Delph told the club website that the whole squad were hurting from the result.
He said: "We all have fire in our stomachs and we're determined to bounce back. It was very disappointing for us. There's no-one more frustrated and disappointed than the boys. It's football and we have to bounce back. I see no reason why we can't do that on Sunday."
Elsewhere this weekend, Blackburn travel to the Britannia Stadium to take on Stoke in Saturday's early kick-off. Blackburn manager Steve Kean is under considerable pressure from Rovers fans as his team have failed to win any of their last seven games.
Also on Saturday, Bolton take on Everton, Chelsea host Wolves, Norwich play QPR, Sunderland face Wigan and West Brom entertain Tottenham. Saturday's action is rounded off at the Emirates Stadium where Arsenal welcome fellow Londoners Fulham. Arsene Wenger's side have won their last five Premier League games and will look to continue that run of good form against a Fulham side who have picked up just four points from the same number of games.