Premier League Game-week 12 Preview
Another weekend of exciting Premier League action this weekend after the midweek European games, which produced mixed results for the English clubs. The big game in the Premier League this weekend is the North London derby on Sunday between Arsenal and Tottenham, but there are plenty of other games to whet the appetite. Without further ado, here is a preview of what to look forward to this weekend:
Premier League Saturday Preview, November 13
Bournemouth vs Newcastle United, Vitality Stadium
The action this weekend starts down on the south coast, where Premier League new-boys Bournemouth welcome Newcastle United, currently down in the bottom three in the table. This is a key game down near the relegation zone, with the Cherries lying in 17th place. Bournemouth have lost four of their last five league games, and will look to get back on track against the inconsistent Geordies. The visitors have just one away league victory in 2015, a 3-0 win at Hull City last season.
For Bournemouth, they have four-long term injury absentees: a trio of players out with knee injuries in Callum Wilson, Max Gradel and Tyrone Mings, and also Christian Atsu with a shin injury. Dan Gosling is set to line up against his former club.
As for Newcastle, they will make the long trip south without the services of Jack Colback, Tim Krul, Emmanuel Riviere and Steven Taylor, all of whom are injured.
There have only ever been six meetings between these two clubs, the record is dead level, two wins each and two draws.
Leicester City vs Watford, King Power Stadium
Leicester will look to continue their superb start to the season when they host Watford on Saturday. The Foxes are sitting in third place, just three points off the top, and have one of the Premier League’s most deadly in-form players at the moment in striker Jamie Vardy. Vardy has scored in eight consecutive league games, and will look to celebrate his England call-up by finding the net once again.
However, visitors Watford’s rearguard was not breached in their last two games, and they won’t want to concede here. They also have their on in-form striker in Odion Ighalo. He has found the net seven times so far this season. He has picked up a knock against West Ham though, but should recover in time to take his place up front for the Hornets. Jurado may also return, but Joel Ekstrand is out until next year with a knee injury.
For the high-flying Foxes, Christian Fuchs may return after absence last week. Matty James is still out with a knee injury.
Manchester United vs West Bromwich Albion, Old Trafford
Manchester United will look to get back on track in the league after only 1 goal in their last four games in all competitions, in the midweek win over CSKA Moscow. Wayne Rooney found the net to pull level with Denis Law as United’s second highest goalscorer, and he will look to pull closer to Sir Bobby Charlton in this tie against West Brom.
However, the Baggies have a good recent record at Old Trafford. winning on their last two visits. They are the only side to win there in United’s last thirteen league matches. Jonny Evans makes his first return to United since leaving for the Hawthorns in August
Baggies manager Tony Pulis will be hoping for better news then he had today, he accepted an FA charge for comments made after last weekend’s tie with Leicester.
Norwich City vs Swansea City, Carrow Road
Swansea make the trip to Norfolk to take on Norwich City on Saturday. In theory, they should be confident of a successful trip, as the Canaries have not exactly made Carrow Road a fortress so far this season, with just one win from five at home so far under manager Alex Neil.
Swansea’s record away to Norwich is not exactly good, however. The Swans have only one win from their last fifteen visits. Neither side is exactly bristling with confidence or form at the moment either, Norwich have gone six without a win, while Swansea have one win from seven.
For the visitors, Wayne Routledge is in line for his first appearance since 4 October after calf trouble.
The Canaries have Russell Martin suspended, and Matt Jarvis and Andre Wisdom injured, Dieumerci Mbokani should feature though, after illness forced him to sit out last week.
Look for goals in this tie: the six Premier League meeting between these two clubs so far have produced 25 goals.
Sunderland vs Southampton, Stadium of Light
It has been less a case of Stadium of Light, and more a case of Stadium of……. well, you get the picture. Needless to say, it has been a woeful season so far on Wearside, save for the derby success over Newcastle. Sam Allardyce’s side come up against Southampton this weekend, eager to bounce back from a 6-2 mauling against Everton last weekend.
The Saints are unbeaten in five, and pretty much at full strength, apart from Victor Wanyama, who is suspended, and injured duo Shane Long and Jay Rodriguez.
Sunderland hope to have four players back from injury: Fabio Borini, John O’Shea, Younes Kaboul and Ola Toivonen. But Lee Cattermole misses out with an ankle problem.
Southampton have just one away victory from their last twelve, but last season they did inflict Sunderland’s heaviest Premier League defeat, 6-0.
West Ham United vs Everton, Boleyn Ground
The Hammers, currently sitting in sixth in the table, have not beaten Everton since 2007, and manager Slaven Bilic will be looking to end that run this weekend.
To do so, they will have to do without Diafra Sakho, who has a thigh injury. Winston Reid has recovered from a knock he took against Sunderland.
For the visiting Toffees, looking to kick on after the win over Sunderland last time out, Mo Besic, Tom Cleverley and Leighton Baines may all be missing.
Everton are unbeaten in their last fourteen meetings with West Ham, winning ten. And Romelu Lukaku likes facing the London club, scoring in all six matches he has played against them.
Ties at the Boleyn Ground between these two clubs have been feisty as of late, the last three games have seen a sending off.
Stoke City vs Chelsea, Britannia Stadium
A second visit to the Britannia Stadium this season for under-fire Jose Mourinho and his reigning Premier League champions. Never an easy place to go when a result is badly needed, as Chelsea have already found out this term in the Capital One Cup, going out on penalties to Mark Hughes’ side. Mourinho himself won’t be making the trip this time, he is serving a one-match stadium ban imposed by the FA.
Mourinho’s beleaguered side will surely be buoyed by their Champions League win over Dynamo Kiev in midweek, but have lost their last two league games, to West Ham and Liverpool.
Injury-wise, Chelsea will be without Thibault Courtois, Branislav Ivanovic and Radamel Falcao, though Pedro may make a return to league action.
As for Stoke, the Britannia is always tricky for visiting teams, but they themselves have only four points from home games so far. They will be without Shay Given and Marc Muniesa.
Premier League Sunday Preview, November 14
Aston Villa vs Manchester City, Villa Park
League leaders Manchester City aim to continue from their midweek 3-1 win away to Sevilla when they travel to Villa Park. They have a good recent record against their hosts, with seven wins from their last eight visits. Villa have not even scored in five of their last seven meetings with City.
It is a baptism of fire for new Villa coach Remi Garde, who becomes the sixth different Frenchman to take charge of a Premier League match. He does have his work cut out for him, with his side bottom of the pile and only one point gained since the opening weekend of the season.
Liverpool vs Crystal Palace, Anfield
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side host Crystal Palace looking to follow on from their 3-1 win over Chelsea last weekend. They are looking to turn draws into wins, having drawn four of their previous five.
Palace, meanwhile, sit in mid-table, and have had success against Liverpool in recent meetings, at least in terms of finding the net. The Eagles have managed to score three times in each of their last three meeting with the Reds.
Arsenal vs Tottenham, Emirates Stadium
The big game of the weekend, without question. Always an explosive affair when these two rivals meet. The Gunners were mauled by Bayern Munich 5-1 in midweek, but when it comes to their hated North London enemies, it has been them doing the mauling, especially at the Emirates Stadium.
Tottenham have only one win from their last twenty-two league trips, and were also beaten by them in the Capital One Cup this term.
In the league, Arsenal are warming up nicely, with five straight wins. Spurs are capable of turning strong teams over, as they proved against Manchester City with a 4-1 win.
As we all know, though, form goes completely out of the window in derby matches. Expect thrills, spills, and maybe tempers might even boil over a little.
by Steve Osborne @BlizzardSteve75