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4. WORLD: Chelsea hopes for Arsenal assist
January 19th, 2007 5:03AM



Chelsea fans will be rooting for Arsenal on Sunday when the Gunners host English Premier League leader Manchester United (TV: Fox Soccer Channel, live, 11 am ET).

Third-place Arsenal is only a longshot to win the EPL title, trailing United by 15 points, but the Gunners could cut into United's six-point lead over second-place Chelsea with a win. After a slow start, Arsenal has been in fine form in recent weeks, beating Liverpool handily in the FA Cup and League Cup. The Gunners will be without Brazilian midfielder Gilberto, who is suspended after being red carded in Arsenal's win at Blackburn last weekend.

United will be making its first appearance at the new Emirates Stadium, where Arsenal is unbeaten. In its last appearance at Highbury last season, United crushed Arsenal, 4-2.

Chelsea, meanwhile, puts its perfect record under Manager Jose Mourinho against Liverpool on the line when the Blues travel to Anfield on Saturday (TV: Setanta Sports USA, live, 7:40 am ET). The game will mark the 100th EPL games for both managers: Mourinho (73 wins 18 ties, 8 losses) and Rafa Benitez of Liverpool (55 wins, 18 ties, 26 losses).

ITALY. Inter Milan looks to extend its record Serie A winning streak to 13 games when it hosts Fiorentina on Sunday (TV: Gol TV, live, 9 am ET). Inter, which holds a nine-point lead over Roma at the halfway mark, has been bolstered by the return to form of Brazilian Adriano, who scored in his last two Serie A games. "When Adriano's playing like this," said Inter defender Douglas Maicon, "we are almost unbeatable. He is one of the greatest strikers in the world."

SPAIN. History could repeat itself when Real Madrid travels to Real Mallorca on Sunday (TV: Gol TV, live, 3 pm ET). Florentino Perez quit as Real Madrid president last season after the Merengues lost at Mallorca. Perez's successor, Ramon Calderon, is under fire for making disparaging remarks about Madrid players and fans, and pressure for him to resign will mount if Real again loses at Mallorca. Real Madrid suffered another setback Thursday when it was knocked out the Copa del Rey, tying Real Betis, 1-1, at home and going out on the away goal rule. Their first game ended in a 0-0 tie. Real Madrid goes into the weekend only two points behind La Liga leader Sevilla, which has a potentially tough game at Villarreal on Saturday (TV: Gol TV, live, 4 pm ET). Barcelona, which is tied with Real Madrid but has a game in hand, hosts last-place Gimnastic Tarragona (TV: Gol TV, Monday, Jan. 22, delay, 9 pm ET).

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