Weekend Preview: Arsenal, Liverpool & Man Utd Need To Maintain Pressure On Rivals

By on November 25, 2011

Matchday 13 will see Chelsea struggling to find form under coach Andre Villas Boas, Alex Ferguson will be hoping to see Newcastle United through as their rivals will visit Anfield the next day. In-form Robin van Persie will face Fulham and Harry Redknapp will be hoping to secure the third spot for at least this weekend as they visit West Brom.

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Stoke City v Blackburn

Tony Pulis’ side host fellow strugglers, Blackburn, in the early kick-off on Saturday as both teams will be desperate for all three points. While the visitors have been languishing in the drop zone all season, the Potters are just three points away themselves from 18th place.

Steve Kean’s men are likely to be boosted by the timely returns of Christopher Samba and Martin Olsson but Simon Vukcevic, Ryan Nelsen and Vince Grella are unexpected to play any part in the game as David Dunn is definitely ruled out due to incurring a suspension in his last game for the club.

Mamady Sidibe is the only man injured for the home side as they will be slight favourites to emerge from this encounter with the win.

Saturday, 26th November on Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports HD 2.

Bolton Wanderers v Everton

Bolton entertain David Moyes’ charges at the Reebok Stadium with both managers struggling to get their team’s season truly up and running. Owen Coyle’s men have endured a torrid beginning to the season and they have a mere 9 points so far this season and are stuck right in the middle of a vicious battle to avoid the drop.

Meanwhile the Scousers fortuitously beat Wolves last weekend and lost their previous three games as a lack of summer spending is translated with poor displays on the pitch with the Blues resting in 12th position in the league table.

Dedryck Boyata is not meant to be featuring for the home team as several long0term absentees such as Stuart Holden and Tyrone Mears are a while away from a comeback. Sylvain Distin could make his first-team reappearance against the Wanderers but captain Phil Neville will not be playing any part.

Chelsea v Wolverhampton Wanderers

Everything seems to be going wrong for Andre Villas-Boas’ Blues ahead of their must-win clash against Wolves on Saturday. Four defeats in their last seven games has left their season in disarray as the Pensioners are 5th in the league table after recent defeats to QPR, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Wolves are also in trouble as they lie in 17th place but a great win over Wigan and strong performance against Everton suggests the Molineux-dwellers may be turning a corner.

Ashley Cole has emerged as a doubt for the game with Michael Essien still a long way from full fitness in an otherwise fully-fit squad. Wolves manager Mick McCarthy will be without the services of Stephen Hunt and Jamie O’Hara as the duo are suspended with Kevin Foley also out due to an ankle injury.

Manchester United v Newcastle United

The reigning champions welcome the surprise team of the season to Old Trafford as the hosts hope to continue to keep pace with league leaders Manchester City, who are five points ahead in the race for the title. The home team have won their last three league games on the trot and will be confident of seeing off the threat of Alan Pardew’s men.

However the Magpies are enjoying an incredible season so far and are currently 4th in the table and up until last week, were undefeated in the league. Wayne Rooney is said to be a mjaor doubt for the game with Michael Owen and Tom Cleverley also still on the sidelines. Cheik Tiote and Gabriel Obertan are set to be back in the starting line-up for the visit to Old Trafford but Sylvain Marveaux and Michael Williamson are still indefinitely out injured.

Norwich City v QPR

The Canaries entertain their fellow promoted club at Carrow Road on Saturday as both teams look to build on their impressive start to Premier League life thus far this season.

Paul Lambert’s side are 11th in the table and have already claimed wins over Swansea, Sunderland and Bolton as well as drawing with Liverpool at Anfield. Meanwhile the Hoops have registered great wins over Everton, Wolves, Chelsea and Stoke on their way to a current 9th place league standing.

Daniel Ayala, Zak Whitbread and James Vaughn being absent through injured leaves Lambert with limited options as Neil Warnock’s side are set to welcome back several players. The blow of losing Joey Barton, who is serving a ban, will be softened by the return DJ Campbell, Heidar Helguson and Luke Young to the first team.

 

 

Sunderland v Wigan Athletic

Two big strugglers lock horns at the Stadium of Light on Saturday as Steve Bruce’s side meet Roberto Martinez’ rock-bottom Latics. The Black Cats have won one of their last seven games as they continue a worrying slide down the table as they currently occupy 14th position in the table, two points above the relegation zone.

Meanwhile the visitors are rooted to the foot of the table as they have just six points so far in their campaign. The hosts will not have Connor Wickham, Simon Mignolet or Fraizer Campbell as the trio are all missing through injury. Antolin Alcaraz is missing for the away side as he serves a ban over a spitting incident in Wigan’s virtually fully-fit squad.

West Bromwich Albion v Tottenham Hotspur

Roy Hodgson’s outfit face the north Londoner’s at the Hawthorns on Saturday as both teams have opened their league campaign’s with solid starts. The hosts are enjoying a fine season so far and their most recent victory, a 2-1 win over Wolves, sees them lie in 10th position. Harry Redknapp’s side have stormed up the Premier League table in recent weeks and wins Aston Villa, Fulham and QPR has propelled them up to 3rd place.

The home side will get a triple boost ahead of the game with Peter Odemwingie, Paul Scharner and Shane Long all expected to participate in the game but question marks remain over the fitness of Graham Dorrans. Niko Krancjar is available for the trip but Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone and David Bentley are all long-term absentees.

Arsenal v Fulham

The Emirates Stadium will play host to Fulham in the late kick-off on Saturday as Arsenal look to continue their rehabilitation after a nightmare beginning to their season. Arsene Wenger’s men are 7th in the table at the moment and have just qualified into the knock-out stages of the Champions League as they’ve won 11 of their last 13 matches.

Meanwhile the Cottagers have won two of their last 11 and hover above the drop zone in 16th position. The hosts remain without Kieran Gibbs, Bacary Sagna and Jack Wilshere for some time yet but Abou Diaby is likely to be available for the match. Fulham may be able to recall Simon Davies and Stephen Kelly after their spells on the sidelines but Zdenek Grygera remains out.

Swansea City v Aston Villa

The Villans make their first top-flight trip to the Liberty Stadium on Sunday to take on Brendan Rodgers Welsh outfit. The hosts have been impressive in recent outings, holding Liverpool to a stalemate at Anfield and narrowly losing 1-0 to Manchester United but they still remain in 13th position, four points above the relegation zone.

Alex McLeish’s side have yet to garner more than three points away from home this season but despite that blemish, they are in 8th place in the league table.

Steven Caulker is back into the first team reckoning after overcoming his recent injury but the Swans are without Ferry Bode and Alan Tate for several months yet. Nathan Delfouneso should be available for the Birmingham-based club but Habib Beye is still a few weeks away from his comeback.

Sunday, 13:30pm 27th November on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD 1.

Liverpool v Manchester City

Liverpool welcome the high-flying Citizens to Anfield on Sunday in a crunch encounter for the Manchester club.

While Liverpool have had an indifferent season thus far, drawing with Swansea and beating Chelsea within seven days epitomizing their odd form, Roberto Mancini’s men have been blowing the competition away in England. 11 wins from their opening 12 games has seen them top the table and they have every reason to believe they can make it 12 wins come 6pm on Sunday.

Steven Gerrard is the Reds’ only major absentee in an otherwise fully-fit squad. Owen Hargreaves is City’s sole injury concern ahead of the clash as both teams are expected to up their games significantly for this highly-anticipated match.

Sunday, 27th November 16:00pm on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD 1. Also available in 3D

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One Comment

  1. magnumopus

    November 25, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Go REDS! YNWA

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