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PREMIER LEAGUE BUILD-UP



News Live Blog
Premier League build-up LIVE!
Updates and coverage from news conferences around the country ahead of this weekend's Premier League fixtures
COSTA QUESTIONS
Chelsea may have beaten Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League on Wednesday evening but Diego Costa continues to struggle in front of goal. 
The Blues play Stoke on Saturday Night Football live onSky Sports 1 and Adam Bate writes Costa's situation needs to change if Jose Mourinho is to complete the turnaround this season.
Read it HERE
LAMELA FINDS FORM 
More Super Sunday build-up now and Adam Bate has been looking at the progress of Tottenham's record signing Erik Lamela who has been in fine form this season after a shaky start to his Spurs career. 
Read the full article HERE
Arsenal v Tottenham is live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 3.30pm on Sunday
VARDY IN THE HUNT
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy is hunting down a very special Premier League record after his outstanding start to the season.
The England international scored in his side's 3-2 win over West Brom last weekend, the eighth consecutive league match in which he has done so. 
Ruud van Nistelrooy set the 10-game Premier League scoring record for Manchester United in 2003 but Vardy insists he is not feeling any pressure to match or better that.
We will hear from his club manager Claudio Ranieri later this afternoon. 
BILIC OPTIMISTIC
Slaven Bilic says there is nothing wrong with believing sixth-placed West Ham can finish in the top four this season.
BLUES GROWING IN CONFIDENCE
And, speaking of this weekend's Saturday Night Football, live on Sky Sports 1, Willian has said that Chelsea are growing in confidence again after their 2-1 win over Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League on Wednesday. 
The Brazilian's outstanding late free-kick proved to be the winner for Jose Mourinho's side. 
BUTLAND IMPRESSING
Ahead of the England squad announcement, let's take a look back at Peter Smith's article on the battle for the No 1 jersey with the Three Lions.
Jack Butland continues to impress for Stoke, who take on Chelsea at the Britannia Stadium live on Sky Sports from 5pm on Saturday.
Read the full article HERE
ENGLAND SQUAD
RICHARDS BACK FOR VILLA
Captain Micah Richards is back for Aston Villa against former club Manchester City this Super Sunday and he could be key for Remi Garde's side. 
Despite their poor league form, Richards has been a shining light and our man Adam Bate has taken a look at a career threatening to ignite once more...
Read it HERE
NO JANUARY SIGNINGS
More from Everton boss Roberto Martinez and his press conference earlier this morning now, as he said he will look to long-term signing targets in the summer as opposed to doing business in January. The Spaniard said there would be little in the way of departures during the upcoming window as well. "We've got such a strong squad - the focus for us is to see how good we can be with the squad we have now," Martinez said. "We have enough time in the summer to see if we can bring players into the football club.

NICHOLAS BACKS KANE
Back to the build-up to the north London derby on Super Sunday and Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas reckons Harry Kane will fancy his chances if Per Mertesacker repeats his "awful" display in Munich as Arsenal went down 5-1 to Bayern in the Champions League.
Nicholas told Sky Sports News HQ: "I take you back to the Capital One Cup when Mertesacker played [in a 3-0 defeat] at Sheffield Wednesday: people can get at him.
"Harry Kane, if he's fit and ready, will fancy his chances this weekend of getting at Mertesacker."
VITAL RITCHIE 
If Bournemouth are to stay in the top flight, they are going to have to rely on midfielder Matt Ritchie, who was playing in League Two just three years ago.
Before the Southampton defeat, Nick Wright traced his unusual route to the top with the help of his former Swindon Town team-mate David Prutton.
Read the article HERE.
REDKNAPP BACKS BOURNEMOUTH
Jamie Redknapp said last week he thinks Bournemouth can stay in the Premier League, despite going down 2-0 to south coast rivals Southampton on Sunday.
Eddie Howe will be speaking to the press this afternoon ahead of their home clash with Newcastle on Saturday.
BIG SAM HIT FOR SIX
We will be hearing from Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce later this afternoon. He will be looking for a response after last weekend's 6-2 defeat at Everton. 
It was not the first time one of his sides have been on the end of conceding six goals, however. 
Peter Smith takes a look back at the other times Big Sam was hit for six HERE
CHAMBERLIN ON SUPER SUNDAY 
Ed Chamberlin has been busy looking ahead to this weekend's Super Sundaywhich will feature Aston Villa v Manchester City as well as the north London derby as Arsenal host Tottenham. He has also recalled Frank Lampard's Monday Night Football appearance. Read the full article HERE.
MIRALLAS STAYING PUT
Earlier this morning Everton boss Roberto Martinez used his pre-match press conference to insist Kevin Mirallas' future is at the club despite speculation the Belgian is unhappy at a lack of playing time.
ARSENAL INJURIES 
Decent side there...
 GARDE'S TO-DO LIST
Speaking of Remi Garde...what are his priorities at Aston Villa? Adam Bate and Jack Callaway have compiled a to-do list for the new Villa manager. 
PL BUILD-UP
We have heard from our first two managers today but there are still plenty more to come including new Aston Villa boss Remi Garde later this afternoon. 
We will also hear from Garry Monk, Claudio Ranieri, Sam Allardyce, Eddie Howe, Ronald Koeman andQuique S├ínchez Flores.
BILIC  ON EVERTON
That's all from Slaven Bilic this morning. He gave updates on the Hammers squad and said he anticipates a "special" game against his former club Everton on Saturday. 

CONFIDENT EVERTON
Roberto Martinez was full of praise for West Ham, but what did Slaven Bilic have to say about the Toffees?
"Everton won 6-2 last week and it was a weird game. Sunderland started well, then Everton scored two goals. It went to 2-2 and Everton looked shaky, but when they scored the third and fourth, it could have been nine, 10.
"They are full of confidence, but so are we because we are a team who are playing well and will be at home."
WEST HAM SQUAD
So, a mixed bag for West Ham this weekend. They welcome back Winston Reid and will monitor Alex Song in a midweek friendly but have lost Diafra Sakho for the Everton game to a training ground injury.
Bilic also said Enner Valencia is getting closer to returning to the squad. 
"Enner is getting closer to being able to start. We've got options on that position, definitely."
REID BACK 
Bilic has also confirmed that defender Winston Reid is back in the Hammers squad after recovering from injury. 
BILIC'S FORMER CLUB
Slaven Bilic spent two years as a player for Everton after leaving West Ham in the 90s and says it will be a "special" game on Saturday. 
"Everton is on one hand, yes, a special game for me, on another hand not. It's a big game against a good team.
"On the other hand it is special because I played there and enjoyed it there. I played for two clubs here, so it is special, yes."
SONG BACK FOR WEST HAM
However, the Hammers boss has better news regarding Alex Song and says he will play in a friendly game during the week.
"Alex Song has been training with us since before the Watford game. He's been with us for one week and is injury free.
"Now it's a matter of match fitness. We have a friendly game on Wednesday and he will play in that."
01:47
SAKHO INJURED
Bilic says Diafra Sakho will miss the Everton game after sustaining an injury in training. 
"Sakho is out. It's nothing major, he felt something after training last week and he has a small tear in his thigh.
"He's out on Saturday but the prognosis is that he will be fit for the game after the international break."
01:45
BILIC ARRIVES
Slaven Bilic has arrived at his press conference and is ready to address the media...
01:37
BILIC UP NEXT
So, we have heard from Roberto Martinez. His opposite number in the dugout this weekend will be West Ham's Slaven Bilic and he is expected to address the media shortly. 
MARTINEZ SPEAKS 
Roberto Martinez has finished with his press conference this morning. 
He spoke about Leighhton Baines being back in training, praised West Ham for their performances so far this season and commented on the blossoming partnership between Romelu Lukaku and Arouna Kone.
"The relationship between Rom and Arouna begins off the pitch. They are very close and respect each other."
KEEPING THE SQUAD
Roberto Martinez says January will be more about keeping the group together as opposed to bringing new players in.
PRAISE FOR WEST HAM
Martinez: “The biggest strength of this West Ham is they play with incredible belief and confidence. I think it will be a terrific challenge. Look at the points they have already, it is clear they are going to be a team challenging in the top five.”
He says, along with Leicester, West Ham have been the best team in the league this season. 
"We see West Ham as one of the best teams of the campaign in the early months. They have surprised teams."
BAINES IN TRAINING
Baines, Besic and Cleverly are back to normal training which Martinez says is a “real positive boost”. 
“It’s about measuring well and making sure we don’t rush them back into action.”
Leighton Baines won’t be available for the weekend and Bryan Oviedo might be out of action for two or three weeks. 
MIRALLAS HAPPY
Martinez says he is not surprised about Kevin Mirallas speculation but says rumours he is unhappy at lack of playing time “couldn’t be further from the truth”.
He has blamed his start to the season on injury. 
PRAISE FOR SENIOR PLAYERS
Roberto Martinez says he would like to see Gareth Barry, Tim Howard and Leon Osman, among others, stay for as long as they can – “they are an example for young players to follow.
"Gareth and Tim are quite unique in the manner that they look after themselves and their passion for the game. They are important to us."
CONFIDENCE
Martinez: "In the last three seasons, we have developed a really good understanding of the way we want to work. We have confidence in each other."
MARTINEZ TO SPEAK
Roberto Martinez has arrived and is ready to face the media...
'UNACCEPTABLE' 
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic says his side were beaten fair and square by Watford as they lost 2-0 at Vicarage Road last weekend due to two defensive errors. The Hammers boss called his side's performance "unacceptable".
What will he say in his news conference this morning? Stay tuned here. 
CASE FOR DEFENCE
Earlier this week Gareth Barry warned his team-mates Everton cannot rely on goals to get them out of trouble following their crushing 6-2 win over Sunderland last weekend.
LUKAKU ASSIST 
As we wait for Roberto Martinez let's have a look back at the outrageous assist from Everton's Romelu Lukaku which gave Arouna Kone the chance to score his first hat-trick for the club in the 6-2 demolition of Sunderland.
CARROLL EYEING ENGLAND 
West Ham's Andy Carroll answers questions about his current form and all things football and admits he has an England recall in the back of his mind.
BILIC LOOKS AHEAD
Kone will surely be in contention for Everton's weekend clash with West Ham. 
We will hear from Hammers boss Slaven Bilic shortly after Martinez as he looks to get his side back to winning ways following their 2-0 loss at Watford. 
KONE DELIGHTED
Arouna Kone was proud of his first Premier League hat-trick which helped Everton to a 6-2 win over Sunderland last weekend.
MARTINEZ TO SPEAK
Our first port of call this morning is Everton with manager Roberto Martinez set to speak ahead of his side's clash with West Ham at Upton Park.
The Toffees boss has previously said he was confident Bryan Oviedo's latest injury will not prove to be too serious.
GOOD MORNING!
Hello everyone and welcome along to our build-up to another weekend of action from the Premier League.
We will be hearing from 10 managers today, including Everton's Roberto Martinez and West Ham's Slaven Bilic. 
It is a busy one today - we will also bring you coverage as Roy Hodgson names his England squad for the friendly matches with Spain and France. 

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