Hello and welcome to my latest blog post, on Saturday the 29th of December 2012. This weekend is the LAST of a great 2012, and hopefully it can go out with a bang.
Today, there are 8 matches in the English Premier League including the early afternoon match between Sunderland and Tottenham Hotspur at The Stadium Of Light.
These are the 3pm kick-offs being played today:
Aston Villa vs Wigan
Fulham vs Swansea
Manchester United vs West Brom
Norwich vs Manchester City
Reading vs West Ham United
Stoke City vs Southampton
Some potential giantkillers and shocks on the cards today, but you never know what might happen in a game of football.
The evening fixture comes from The Emirates, as Arsenal host Newcastle.
Here is the team line-ups for the Early Afternoon Match between Sunderland and Tottenham which kick starts the weekend off:
Sunderland: Mignolet, Gardner, Kilgallon, O'Shea, Cuellar, Larsson, Colback, Johnson, McClean, Sessegnon, Fletcher.
Subs: Campbell, Wickham, McFadden, Vaughan, Dong-won, Bramble, Westwood
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Caulker, Naughton, Lennon, Sandro, Dembele, Bale, Adebayor, Defoe.
Subs: Dempsey, Vertonghen, Huddlestone, Parker, Sigurdsson, Livermore, Friedel.
12:45: The first match this weekend has kicked off at The Stadium of Light.
Sunderland will look to continue after their 1-0 win against Manchester City on Wednesday, but it will be hard against a Tottenham side desperate to qualify for the Champions League, having thrashed Aston Villa 4-0 the last time out.
FACT: Sunderland have won 2 out of the last 5 meetings with Tottenham, while Spurs have won 1.
Sunderland 0 Tottenham 0
It is still goal-less, but Tottenham are dominating the match with goal-scoring chances from Lennon and Bale. Still 0-0 though, and Sunderland are lucky not to be behind now.
Sunderland 1 Tottenham 0
The hosts break the deadlock from a set piece in the 40th minute, when winger Sebastien Larsson whips a ball into the box.
The ball fell to striker Steven Fletcher, and his good shot was saved well by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, but the ball bounced back and fell to defender John O'Shea who tapped the ball into the net to give the hosts the lead!
|First goal in 3 years: Sunderland defender John O'Shea celebrates breaking the deadlock in the 40th minute.|
Half-time: Sunderland 1 Tottenham 0
Huge blow to AVB's men, as they were dominating the match but just did not get the end product. Sunderland lead at home at half-time, and they now that they are 45 minutes away from moving into 10th place and winning their 4th home match of the season.
Do not expect the scoreline to stay the same though, with Tottenham ready to raise the intensity of the match to try and get back into the match.
Full-time: Sunderland 1 Tottenham 2
What did I say? Tottenham complete a comeback after trailing 1-0 at half-time away from home.
Sunderland defender Carlos Cuellar scored an own goal to equalise for Spurs in the 47th minute.
Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon made it 2-1 to the away side in the 51st minute to cap off a nice pass-and-move and complete the comeback.
|Nicely done: Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon gives Spurs the lead in the 51st minute at The Stadium of Light.|
|Comeback: Lennon celebrates his goal with team-mates Walker, Defoe and Dembele as they moved into 3rd place.|
Tottenham move into 3rd place, above Chelsea who play tomorrow at Goodison Park against Everton at 1.30pm.
Sunderland will feel disappointed because they did not win at least a point, despite going ahead in the first half.
They fail to move up to 10th place, and could move down into 15th place if Stoke and Newcastle both win today.
Reading: Federici, Gunter, Mariappa, Pearce, Harte, Leigertwood, Karacan, Kebe, Guthrie, McAnuff, Pogrebnyak.
Subs: Taylor, Le Fondre, Hunt, Morrison, Tabb, Robson-Kanu, Cummings.
West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Tomkins, Collins, Reid, O'Brien, Noble, O'Neil, Taylor, Nolan, Jarvis, Cole.
Subs: Spiegel, Collison, Maiga, Vaz Te, Demel, Diarra, Spence.
Pogrebnyak and Cole will both be looking to score for their respective sides today, while West Ham can move up to 9th place with a win.
Reading are stuck in 19th place, but a win could see them move 2 points of 18th placed Wigan. So it is all to play for.
Aston Villa vs Wigan Athletic:
Aston Villa: Guzan, Herd, Clark, Lichaj, Lowton, Ireland, Holman, Bannan, Bennett, Weimann, Benteke.
Subs: Given, El Ahmadi, Albrighton, Westwood, Bowery, Stevens, Carruthers.
Wigan: Al Habsi, Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, McCarthy, Jones, Beausejour, Kone, Di Santo, Maloney.
Subs: Pollitt, Gomez, McManaman, McArthur, Boselli, Stam, Golobart.
Benteke and Weimann both continue to lead the line for Aston Villa. The hosts will hope to bounce back from 2 matches against London clubs Chelsea and Tottenham, where they were thrashed and conceded 12 goals.
Fulham vs Swansea City:
Fulham: Stockdale, Riether, Hangeland, Hughes, Briggs, Dejagah, Sidwell, Karagounis, Frei, Ruiz, Berbatov.
Subs: Etheridge, Kelly, Riise, Senderos, Baird, Richardson, Rodallega.
Swansea: Tremmel, Rangel, Williams, Monk, Tiendalli, de Guzman, Agustien, Dyer, Hernandez, Routledge, Graham.
Subs: Vorm, Bartley, Britton, Shechter, Moore, Ki, Davies.
Berbatov and Ruiz start in attack for the hosts today, while Swansea show a strong side with Pablo Hernandez and Nathan Dyer on the wings.
Norwich vs Manchester City:
Norwich: Bunn, Martin, Turner, Bassong, Garrido, Snodgrass, Tettey, Johnson, Pilkington, Hoolahan, Morison.
Subs: Rudd, Howson, Jackson, Elliott Bennett, Barnett, Ryan Bennett, Kane.
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy, Toure, Barry, Aguero, Silva, Nasri, Dzeko.
Subs: Pantilimon, Lescott, Milner, Sinclair, Javi Garcia, Toure, Tevez.