CHELSEA VSSUNDERLANDChelsea’s season in the Barclays Premier League goes from bad to worse. On Monday night they lost again, at league leaders Leicester City, leaving them just one point off the relegation zone following their ninth defeat of the season and fifth in seven games. Sunderland won at Stamford Bridge two seasons ago, but that is one of only three wins there in 14 Barclays Premier League visits. None have been drawn with Chelsea winning all the other 11 meetings.NEWCASTLE VS ASTON VILLAHaving beaten Liverpool 2-0 in their previous game, Newcastle have won back-to-back Barclays Premier League games for the first time in over a year, when they won five in a row, in October and November 2014. Villa lost 2-0 at home to Arsenal at home last Sunday and they are now without a win in 15 league games, the joint-longest current run in English football (along with League 2 side York City).STOKE CITY VSCRYSTAL PALACEStoke are 11th in the Barclays Premier League while Crystal Palace moved into sixth place in the Premier League thanks to their first ever top-flight win over Southampton in 14 attempts last Saturday. The Eagles have lost just one of their past six Premier League matches, winning three and losing just one, with Yohan Cabaye scoring the winner against Southampton.WEST BROM VS BOURNEMOUTHAfter winning at Chelsea and at home to Manchester United, AFC Bournemouth should be confident of boosting further their hopes of avoiding relegation. That extended their unbeaten run to four games (following two draws), after six league games without a win. They go to The Hawthorns where West Bromwich Albion have lost four of their eight games while winning just two. Only Aston Villa (six) have lost more PL games at home.WATFORD VSLIVERPOOLOdion Ighalo got Watford’s winner at Sunderland last weekend and has now the most goals by a Watford player in Premier League history (10). Liverpool, meanwhile, came back from behind to steal a point at home to West Bromwich Albion last Sunday, but they are two places and a point behind Watford.SWANSEA CITY VSWEST HAMSwansea City have lost their last three and five of six Barclays Premier League games and are now just one place off the relegation zone, only on goal difference, after winning just three games all season, two of which have come at the Liberty Stadium. And they have scored just eight league goals in Wales. West Ham have won four away from home but they have gone six league games without a win, drawing four including last weekend’s 0-0 stalemate at home to Stoke City.
In the first edition of In The Spotlight, the Queensland Fire’s Kelly McGennity speaks about her team’s preparation in the lead up to the Elite Eight. How does it feel to be a part of the 2011 Elite Eight series?I am very honoured and excited to be a part of the 2011 Elite Eight series. As this is the first time a series like this has been conducted, I feel privileged to be a part of it and the new direction Touch Football is taking. How is your team’s preparation going in the lead up to the event?Our preparation leading up to the Elite Eight series is going really well. We have great coaching staff with lots of experience who are extremely organised and professional in what they do. All the girls are very keen and eager to play also which is a great sign.What would you say are the strengths of your team?Without giving too much away, I would say one of our strengths is definitely youth. We have a number of young Australian representatives in our side who are fast, fit and can run all day. Mixed with that is a couple of old experienced heads which gives it a good balance.Who do you expect to be your toughest opponents?Being an elite competition, every team is going to be tough. It would be too hard to choose one team in particular to be our toughest opponent as I’m sure each side will have its own strengths.What would it mean to you to win the Elite Eight series?To win the Elite Eight series would just be amazing. Not only because this is the first year of the competition, but also because you are playing against the best players in Australia. I am expecting every game to be extremely tough and close. It will be a great competition to watch and to play in.Stay tuned to the website for the upcoming editions of In The Spotlight, which will feature every team in the Elite Eight series. To keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information in the lead up to and during the 2011 X-Blades National Touch League, go to www.ntl.mytouchfooty.com and don’t forget to become a fan of Touch Football Australia on Facebook by clicking on the following link:http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Touch-Football-Australia/384949403384