Saturday’s Premier League Preview

8 Premier League games to take place on Saturday

Another weekend is upon us and so is another round of Premier League fixtures.

8 games will take place today across the country, with all the teams desperate to get wins, all for very different reasons.

Tottenham vs Manchester City – KO 12:45pm (BT Sport)

Manchester City travel down to North London for the day’s Lunchtime kick off, as they look to bounce back from their first defeat of the season against West Ham last weekend.

Meanwhile Spurs took a disappointing defeat in the week in the Capital One Cup at home to Arsenal, but are on the up in the league after winning a home for the first time this season against Crystal Palace last weekend, and will be looking to keep that momentum going in order to climb higher than the 9th place they are currently established in.

Sergio Aguero, who has only scored one goal all season so far, got the only goal in this fixture last season.

Leicester vs Arsenal – KO 3pm

Leicester are flying having maintained their astonishing start to the season, and are the only team in league still unbeaten.

Claudio Ranieri’s side have won 3 and drawn 3 of their six opening fixtures, but face their toughest challenge yet this season as they host Arsene Wenger’s Gunners this afternoon.

Arsenal are coming into the game after a week of ups and downs after losing to Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea last weekend, but also having beaten Spurs in the Capital One Cup in the week. Arsenal will be without Gabriel after the defender accepted a one match ban in the aftermath of his affairs with Diego Costa last weekend, while Ranieri is expected to bring his big players back in after making 10 changes in his side for the cup fixture against West Ham in the week.

Liverpool vs Aston Villa – KO 3pm

Liverpool host Aston Villa this afternoon in a game where almost all focus will be on Liverpool and, in particular, Brendan Rodgers, as the Reds look for their first win in four league games.

Rodgers’ side edged past League 2 side Carlisle in the week on penalties in the Capital One Cup, piling more pressure on the Northern Irishman.

Villa have failed to win since their opening day 1-0 victory at Bournemouth, but will be encouraged by the fact they took 3 points from this fixture last September. Tim Sherwood’s side sit four points and four places behind their opponents.

Liverpool and ex-Villa striker Christian Benteke is expected to be sidelined for some time with a hamstring problem, while playmaker Roberto Firmino is thought to have cracked a bone in his back. However, Daniel Sturridge is fully fit and expected to return to the team after being rested in the week.

For Villa, Idrissa Gueye could make a return after his hamstring problem, but Gabriel Agbonlahor is a major doubt after coming off at half time in Villa’s 1-0 cup win over Birmingham

Manchester United vs Sunderland – KO 3pm

Sunderland travel to Old Trafford this afternoon, still looking for their first win of the season.

Dick Advocaat and his men are sat bottom of the table going into the clash, having taken just two points from their first six games. Meanwhile, Louis van Gaal’s United are looking for their 3rd straight league win on the bounce, after already beating Liverpool and Southampton this month.

Anthony Martial is the man of the moment at Old Trafford, having scored four goals in his four games since a £36m move from Monaco on Deadline Day. However, Van Gaal will have to improvise in terms of his defensive options, Luke Shaw remains out with a broken leg, Marcos Rojo has a hamstring problem, and Paddy McNair also has an unspecified problem, meaning Ashley Young could start at left-back.

Central defender Younes Kaboul returns to the Sunderland squad after suspension. However, Jack Rodwell and Jermain Defore are doubts for the game, with an ankle and hamstring problem respectively.

Southampton vs Swansea – KO 3pm

Southampton host Garry Monk’s Swansea on Saturday, with both sides hoping to pick up some momentum and kick-start their season.

Ronald Koeman’s Saints have only managed 6 points from 6 games, and are 16th in the Premier League table. Swansea failed to keep up momentum after a fine win over United nearly four weeks ago, losing at Watford before an unconvincing home draw with Everton.

Having spent some time on the sidelines with a knee injury, English left-back Matt Targett could return to the side after coming off the bench during Southampton’s 6-0 win at home to MK Dons on Wednesday. Graziano Pelle is also in line to return after a foot problem forced him out of the cup tie in the week.

Swansea have no injury concerns for their trip down to the South coast.

Stoke vs Bournemouth – KO 3pm

Bournemouth travel to the Brittania Stadium to face a Stoke side still looking to grab their first Premier League win of the season today.

Mark Hughes’ side are winless in their first six games, a run that includes home defeats to West Brom and Liverpool, however, they will be looking to carry momentum from their 1-0 Capital One Cup win over Fulham in the week.

As for Bournemouth, Eddie Howe’s side have made a solid start by their standards, claiming 7 points from their first six games and sitting 14th in the table.

Stoke have forward Mame Biram Diouf and midfielder Charlie Adam back available for Saturday’s clash at the Britannia Stadium.

Diouf has missed the last two games recovering from minor hamstring and groin problems, while Adam has been serving a three-match suspension.

 

Howe is expected to revert to much of the Bournemouth team that defeated Sunderland 2-0 last weekend.

The manager overhauled his starting XI for Tuesday’s victory at Preston in the Capital One Cup, selecting squad players including Christian Atsu and Yann Kermorgant. Howe, however, remains without injured captain Tommy Elphick, in addition to long-term absentees Tyrone Mings and Max Gradel.

West Ham vs Norwich – KO 3pm

West Ham United will be looking to maintain their impressive start to the season as they host Norwich City this afternoon.

The Hammers have already beaten Arsenal, Liverpool and the leaders Manchester City all away from home this season, and are 3rd in the table. However, their home form has been less impressive, suffering surprise defeats to Leicester and Bournemouth.

Meanwhile, mid-table Norwich arrive on the up after stealing a 1-1 draw at Anfield against Liverpool last Sunday, however the Canaries have failed to win on their last 13 trips to London against any sides from the capital.

Slaven Bilic has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game, but could hand starts to deadline day signings Nikita Jelavic and Michail Antonio.

Andy Carroll could make his first league start since January, but is likely to be on the bench with Diafra Sakho recalled in attack, while Angelo Ogbonna [hamstring] is a major doubt with Alex Song [ankle] and Enner Valencia [knee] definitely out.

Norwich will have midfielder Alex Tettey back from a one-match suspension, but on-loan winger Matt Jarvis is not eligible to face his parent club.

Striker Gary Hooper [ankle] remains sidelined, but Kyle Lafferty could be involved after the Northern Ireland international scored in the midweek Capital One Cup win over West Brom.

Newcastle vs Chelsea – KO 5:30pm (Sky Sports 1)

Chelsea travel to the North-East today with the hopes that their season has been kick-started with wins against Arsenal and Walsall in past week.

Newcastle are still looking for their first win of the season, but last season ended Chelsea’s 23 match undefeated streak with Papiss Cisse bagging two goals.

Blues boss Jose Mourinho will be looking to end his troubles on Tyneside, having never won at St. James’ Park.

Pedro, Willian and Oscar are all available again to the Special One after taking time out with injuries, while ex-Toon striker Loic Remy could make his first start this season thanks to Diego Costa sitting out suspended after last week’s incidents against Arsenal.

Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic will return from his three-match ban for this one.

The Serbia international, who was sent off against Arsenal on August 29, is available, but fellow forward Papiss Cisse [back] will be missing once again.

 

By Ben Kelly – @benkelly_10

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