Saturday, 19 November 2011
Saturday's EPL Previews and EPL News:
Norwich City vs Arsenal: LIVE from 12:45pm
This match will be the first match this weekend, and Arsenal will hope to continue their current run of form against a weakened Norwich side. Arsenal are without full-backs Kieran Gibbs (hernia) and Carl Jenkinson (back) tomorrow.
Midfielder Ryo Miyaichi (ankle) is also unavailable, but there is no fresh injury problems from the international break and striker Marouane Chamakh (knee) is in contention.
Abou Diaby (hamstring) is continuing his recovery, but Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna (both ankle) remain longer-term absentees.
Centre-backs Zak Whitbread (hamstring) and Dani Ayala (knee) have resumed training, but defender Elliott Ward (knee) is not ready to return while striker James Vaughan (knee) remains sidelined. Norwich expect to have both midfielder Bradley Johnson (concussion) and defender Russell Martin (ankle) available.
Striker Robin Van Persie will be looking to score his 14th goal this season and Arsene Wenger will want nothing more than 3 points away from home to keep the pressure on Liverpoool, Tottenham and Chelsea. Norwich are currently 9th and have 13 points. They will hope that they can at least earn a point, especially as they are at home.
Everton vs Wolverhampton Wanderers: LIVE from 15:00pm
This match will come from Goodison Park, as 17th placed Everton host 13th placed Wolves.
Right-back Kevin Foley is the only player unavailable for Wolves as he continues rehabilitation work on his injured ankle with central defender Jody Craddock having recovered from illness.
Kevin Doyle, Stephen Ward and Stephen Hunt are available after playing in their Euro 2012 Qualifier against Estonia.
Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini returns after serving a one-match suspension at Newcastle before the international break.
Defender Phil Jagielka will play in spite of a broken toe while Tim Cahill is hoping to start following his injury problems.
Captain Phil Neville is unavailable as he has a hamstring injury and will not play for at least fortnight as he tries to try to regain his fitness.
Both teams will want to win as they would move up significantly in the table although Everton will expect to win as they have the stronger side.
Manchester City vs Newcastle United: LIVE from 15:00pm
This match comes from the Ethiad Staduim as EPL leaders City face surprise 3rd placed Newcastle United.
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero will be monitored ahead of tomorrow as he suffered a groin injury which is thought not serious.
Midfielder Owen Hargreaves has recovered from a minor calf problem but will not be returning to action due to a lack of match fitness.
Captain Vincent Kompany returns from suspension but Carlos Tevez, is still in Argentina and out of contention.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew will once again be without key midfielder Cheik Tiote for the match against Manchester City.
He is close to a return from a knee injury but will be out for at least another week while French midfielder Sylvain Marveaux is expected to be sidelined for an extended period as he prepares to undergo groin surgery.
Strikers Leon Best (groin) and Gabriel Obertan (infected toe) are also doubts, although striker Shola Ameobi should be available after shaking off a hamstring injury and could be joined in the squad by younger brother Sammy.
Manchester City would love to cement their winning lead at the top of table but it will not be easy as they face a strong side in Newcastle. They have a solid defence which includes Ryan and Steven Taylor, an attacking midfield of Jonas, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye and an inform striker called Demba Ba who has already scored 8 goals this season.
Newcastle have a tough month ahead of them with matches including against Manchester United and this will be a good barometer of whether they are a top six team in the EPL or not and whether they can be consistent.
Stoke City vs QPR: LIVE from 15:00pm
This match will come from the Britannia Stadium as 12th placed Stoke host 11th placed QPR.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis hopes to have Ryan Shawcross, Marc Wilson (both muscle strains) and Matthew Etherington (back) all return to the Potters team after missing the 5-0 defeat at Bolton on November 6 through injury.
Striker Ricardo Fuller (Achilles) is nearing a return but is not match fit, while Mamady Sidibe (knee) remains sidelined.
Midfielder Adel Taarabt is not expected to feature for QPR after spending the week with Morocco on international duty.
QPR manager Neil Warnock does have midfielder Akos Buzsaky (Achilles) available while Bradley Orr (Achilles) and defender Matt Connolly (ankle) are close to a return from injury and could feature.
Defender Fitz Hall (hamstring) is set to miss out and midfielder Kieron Dyer started running in training this week. He will be out for another fortnight at least and striker DJ Campbell is two to three weeks away from full-time training after having a protective boot removed from his foot.QPR will fancy their chances away from home against Stoke as they fought to the death with league leaders Manchester City a fortnight ago. Stoke will be desperate to forget about the 5-0 defeat to Bolton and get back to winning ways and beat QPR at home tomorrow but it will not be easy.
Sunderland vs Fulham: LIVE from 15:00pm
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce will be without midfielder Sebastian Larsson for Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Fulham through suspension.
Larsson will miss the game after reaching five bookings this season, while striker Connor Wickham is facing weeks on the sidelines with his knee injury.
Defender Titus Bramble, who was expected to play for the reserves in midweek after being fined by the club, also has a knee problem and is unavailable, as are keepers Simon Mignolet (fractured nose and eye socket) and Craig Gordon (knee).
Fulham will be without defender Stephen Kelly who suffered a groin injury.
Aaron Hughes (thigh) and Zdenek Grygera (cruciate) are both also on the sidelines.
Midfielder Steve Sidwell is recovering from a minor hernia operation and will be handed a late fitness test.
Fulham will look to exploit Sunderland's lack of strike options and pass the ball well in midfield. They will look to Clint Demspey, Danny Murphy, Andy Johnson and Moussa Dembele to create chances for them and will try and finish their goal-scoring opportunites.
Sunderland will try and get the ball to Stephane Sessegnon as he has pace to run down the wings. They will look to Kieran Richardson to lift balls into the box for loanee striker Nicklas Bendtner to cause trouble with. They will also expect Lee Catermole to be their defensive midfield rock.
West Bromwich Albion vs Bolton Wanderers: LIVE from 15:00pm
Striker Shane Long is unlikely to have recovered from the knee injury which forced him to miss the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2012 play-off success over Estonia.
Midfielder Paul Scharner is doubtful, also with a knee problem, while Baggies boss Roy Hodgson will check on the fitness of striker Peter Odemwingie (ankle) before finalising his side.
Bolton boss Owen Coyle will give youngster Joe Riley his second Barclays Premier League match this season tomorrow.
The 20-year-old shone on his debut in the 5-0 win over Stoke two weeks ago and will look to give a similar performance in the battle between two struggling sides at The Hawthorns.
Defender Ricardo Gardner misses out after picking up a knock while Marcos Alonso (foot) and Dedryck Boyata (ankle) are close to returning but their are not fit enough to play tomorrow. Tyrone Mears, Lee Chung-yong, Stuart Holden, Sean Davis and Sam Ricketts are long-term absentees.
West Brom will hope that Peter Odemwingie is fit enough to play as they will look to play the ball to him inside the box.
Bolton will want to continue from their 5-0 thrashing of Stoke by beating West Brom and will pass to Ivan Klasnic and Kevin Davies who have scored 7 goals this season combined to confuse the West Brom defence.
Wigan Athletic vs Blackburn Rovers: LIVE from 15:00pm
This match is between two of the bottom three clubs as 20th placed Wigan host 19th placed Blackburn. They only have one point between them and both teams would be desperate to win.
Wigan captain Antolin Alcaraz misses tomorrow's crunch match against fellow strugglers Blackburn through suspension.
The Paraguay defender is beginning a three-match ban for spitting at Wolves' Richard Stearman during the Latics' loss at Molineux at fortnight ago.
Manager Roberto Martinez otherwise has a full squad to choose from with captain Gary Caldwell returning from his suspension.
Defender Christopher Samba has return to trainign and could play tomorrow after a hamstring injury and both Scott Dann and Michel Salgado are ready to return to the Rovers defence after spells on the sidelines.
Simon Vukcevic is missing however after suffering a badly-broken nose on international duty with Montenegro.
Blackburn have a solid defence to choose from with Christopher Samba, Michel Salgado and David Dunn all available. They have a strong attacking midfield who can create chances with Pedersen, Nzonzi and Rochina and have good strikers in Yakubu, Formica, Roberts and Hoilett.
It is surprising that they are 19th in the table with a very decent team....
Blackburn fans will want nothing less than a win against fair opposition in Wigan and they are in the relagation battle zone so they need to move up the table.
Swansea City vs Manchester United:
This match comes from the Liberty Stadium as Swansea face defending champions United.
Manchester United midfielder Ashley Young returns from a toe injury.
Tom Cleverley (ankle) and Michael Owen (thigh) have both been ruled out until Christmas, Danny Welbeck has not recovered from the muscle strain he suffered on international duty, whilst Chris Smalling (foot) is unlikely to return until midweek.
Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers must decide whether to bring winger Scott Sinclair back into his starting line-up. Sinclair was demoted to the bench in the match against Liverpool due to a tight hamstring with midfielder Wayne Routledge impressing in his place.
Left-back Neil Taylor is fit after suffering an ankle knock but centre-half Steven Caulker is still recovering from the knee injury he suffered in September.
Kemy Agustien is again in contention after returning from a hamstring problem, while fellow midfielder Stephen Dobbie is hoping for a place on the bench after overcoming an ankle injury.
Manchester United will be furious with anything other than a win as they look to pile on the pressure for rivals Manchester City. They have a strong squad to choose from and Swansea's defence is shaky and they do not have many attacking options apart from Scott Sinclair.
Swansea will be happy with a draw against 2nd placed United and will try and frustrate them by passing directly and quickly. They could also bring 8 men behing the ball and try and go defensive but stick Sinclair and Graham in attack.
Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini has signed a new five-year contract with Everton.
Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov would consider a move to Russian team Anzhi Makhachkala. Obviously he would... they are a billionaire team and would offer him more than £5million a year. He is not playing many games at United and is fed up.
QPR manager Neil Warnock says that he would let striker Adel Taarabt go if PSG offered £20million for him.
Inter captain Javier Zanetti has hinted his club will try to sign Carlos Tevez in the next transfer window. He would fit in there, and City do not want him anymore.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp will return to work on Sunday, 17 days after having heart surgery.
He is a fighter.... and will be back for Monday's game against Aston Villa.