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Premier League 2013 MatchDay 13 - Preview

last updated Friday 29th November 2013, 11:59 PM

MatchDay 13 Saturday, November 30, 2013
Time Home   Away TV Venue
15:00 Aston Villa   Sunderland   N. Swarbrick
15:00 Cardiff   Arsenal   L. Mason
15:00 Everton   Stoke   M. Jones
15:00 Norwich   C.Palace   C. Foy
15:00 West Ham   Fulham   M. Atkinson
17:30 Newcastle   West Brom Sky1 P. Dowd
MatchDay 13 Sunday, December 01, 2013
12:00 Tottenham   Man Utd BT M. Dean
14:05 Hull v Liverpool Sky1 H. Webb
16:10 Chelsea v Southampton Sky1 M. Oliver
16:10 Man City v Swansea   M. Clattenburg
There are 10 Barclays Premier League matches taking place over two days this weekend in Matchweek 13.

League leaders Arsenal travel to Cardiff City on Saturday before the chasing pack take centre stage 24 hours later on what promises to be another gripping weekend of Premier League action.

As Arsenal have a four point cushion nobody can knock them off their perch this weekend.

Premiership table - after 25th Nov 2013
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 12 5 0 1 13 5 4 1 1 11 5 14 28
2 Liverpool 12 5 0 1 13 3 2 3 1 11 10 11 24
3 Chelsea 12 5 1 0 14 5 2 2 2 7 5 11 24
4 Man City 12 6 0 0 26 2 1 1 4 8 10 22 22
5 Southampton 12 4 2 0 11 2 2 2 2 4 5 8 22
6 Man Utd 12 3 2 1 8 5 3 1 2 12 10 5 21
7 Everton 12 3 3 0 9 6 2 3 1 8 7 4 21
8 Newcastle 12 3 2 1 9 6 3 0 3 8 11 0 20
9 Tottenham 12 3 1 2 5 5 3 1 2 4 7 -3 20
10 Swansea 12 1 3 2 11 11 3 0 3 6 5 1 15
11 West Brom 12 2 2 2 8 6 1 4 1 6 8 0 15
12 Aston Villa 12 2 0 4 6 9 2 3 1 7 5 -1 15
13 Hull 12 3 2 1 4 2 1 0 5 5 13 -6 14
14 Stoke 12 2 3 1 5 3 1 1 4 7 11 -2 13
15 Cardiff 12 2 2 2 7 7 1 2 3 4 10 -6 13
16 Norwich 12 2 2 2 7 7 1 0 5 3 16 -13 11
17 West Ham 12 1 1 4 5 10 1 3 2 4 4 -5 10
18 Fulham 12 1 1 4 6 11 2 0 4 5 10 -10 10
19 C. Palace 12 1 1 4 4 10 1 0 5 3 11 -14 7
20 Sunderland 12 2 0 4 6 10 0 1 5 2 14 -16 7
Arsenal's trip to Wales is one of five games kicking off at 3pm on Saturday, as Everton look to boost their top-four hopes with victory over Stoke City and Aston Villa entertain bottom-of-the-table Sunderland.

Tony Pulis takes official charge of Crystal Palace for the first time in their clash at Norwich City, while there is sure to be tension in the air at Upton Park as under-pressure managers Sam Allardyce and Martin Jol pit their wits against each other.

In-form Newcastle United host West Bromwich Albion in Saturday Night Football, before Sunday kicks off with a heavyweight showdown between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane.

Liverpool journey to Hull City and Chelsea meet fellow high-flyers Southampton, while Manchester City will look to maintain their blistering home form against Swansea City.

Saturday 30th November 2013

15:00 Aston Villa v Sunderland

Sunderland are currently the only team beneath Palace in the table as they prepare to visit Aston Villa. There have been signs of promise for the Black Cats under Gus Poyet, but they lost 2-0 to Stoke last week in a game which left the manager infuriated by Wes Brown's sending-off - a decision which has been overturned on appeal.

Villa, meanwhile, are unbeaten in three matches and will feel they can push on into the top half, especially if star striker Christian Benteke can end a six-game goal drought.

Paul Lambert must decide whether to restore forwards Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andi Weimann to the Villa starting line-up. The pair came on as second-half substitutes in Monday's 2-2 draw with West Brom after recent injuries, along with midfielder Fabian Delph. All three are available this weekend, as is left-back Antonio Luna after a recent hamstring complaint.

Wes Brown is set to line up for Sunderland after having his red card in last week's defeat at Stoke rescinded. Gus Poyet can also call on Lee Cattermole and Andrea Dossena, both of whom have completed three-game bans. Vito Mannone is set to keep his place in goal as Keiren Westwood struggles to recover from a slight knock, while Carlos Cuellar is still sidelined with a hip injury.

Last season: Aston Villa 6 Sunderland 1, Sunderland 0 Aston Villa 1

Last five league matches: Aston Villa L L D W D; Sunderland L W L W L

Top scorers: Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) 5; Emanuele Giaccherini (Sunderland) 3

Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire).

Verdict: Aston Villa 2 Sunderland 0

15:00 Cardiff City v Arsenal

Arsenal currently have a four-point cushion at the summit and they have an opportunity to extend that gap to seven points by Saturday night, if they can succeed where both Manchester clubs have failed and win away to Cardiff.

The Gunners have beaten Southampton and Marseille this week and will be looking to further underline their title credentials against the Bluebirds, who came from behind on Sunday to hold Manchester United to a 2-2 draw and inch three points clear of the relegation zone.

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay has a fully-fit squad to choose from and is expected to stick with the side that performed so admirably in the draw with Manchester United, meaning Craig Bellamy may find himself on the bench again. Midfielder Gary Medel is available after facing no action for his slap on Marouane Fellaini last weekend.

Arsenal expect to have defender Kieran Gibbs available following illness. Germany striker Lukas Podolski is back in training after his hamstring injury but remains short of match fitness. Forward Yaya Sanogo (back) along with midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby (both knee) are all still sidelined.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Cardiff L D W L D; Arsenal W W W L W

Top scorers: Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff) 3; Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) 11

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire).

Verdict: Cardiff 1 Arsenal 2

15:00 Everton v Stoke City

Everton have a chance to rise into the top four, at least temporarily, if they can beat Stoke on Saturday. Roberto Martinez's men will need to end a run of three consecutive draws, though, as they go up against a Potters side looking to consolidate a place in mid-table after defeating Sunderland to extend their unbeaten streak to three games.

Everton left-back Leighton Baines will miss out after being ruled out for up to six weeks with a broken toe. Potential replacements in defence include Bryan Oviedo, John Stones, midfielder Gareth Barry or even centre-back Sylvain Distin. Midfielder Darron Gibson and striker Arouna Kone (both knee) are out long term while central defender Antolin Alcaraz is edging closer to involvement.

Stoke will be without defender Robert Huth and forward Marko Arnautovic. Huth is set to be out for several weeks due to a knee injury while Arnautovic has a hamstring strain. Defender Marc Wilson (hip), midfielder Stephen Ireland (shin) and striker Kenwyne Jones (shoulder) are all expected to be available.

Last season: Everton 1 Stoke 0, Stoke 1 Everton 1

Last five league matches: Everton W W D D D; Stoke D L D D W

Top scorers: Romelu Lukaku (Everton) 7; Kenwyne Jones (Stoke) 4

Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire).

Verdict: Everton 3 Stoke 0

15:00 Norwich City v Crystal Palace

Pulis received a welcome gift as he watched his new Crystal Palace side beat Hull 1-0 at the KC Stadium, and he now officially begins his reign against Norwich. Pulis has never been relegated as a manager and is confident he can steer the Eagles out of the drop zone, but Norwich will also have identified Saturday's match as an opportunity to bounce back from losing to Newcastle and pull further clear of trouble.

Norwich will be without midfielders Anthony Pilkington (hamstring) and Robert Snodgrass (knee). Record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel (toe) continues his rehabilitation, but the striker is not yet match fit. Midfielder Alexander Tettey (ankle), goalkeeper Mark Bunn (ankle) and winger Elliott Bennett (knee) remain sidelined.

Teenage striker Sullay Kaikai's form for Palace's Under-21s could win him a place in Tony Pulis' first matchday squad, although the new manager has admitted he will make few changes to the line-up that pulled off a 1-0 victory at Hull last weekend. He will be without Yannick Bolasie, who was sent off last week and starts a three-match ban.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Norwich L D L W L; Crystal Palace L L L D W

Top scorers: Gary Hooper & Leroy Fer (Norwich) 3; Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) 2

Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

Verdict: Norwich 2 Crystal Palace 0


15:00 West Ham United v Fulham

Only goal difference is keeping West Ham United out of the relegation zone and on Saturday they take on the side immediately below them, Fulham. Allardyce is in need of a good result at home after the 3-0 loss to Chelsea made it five league games without a win, many of those played without a recognised striker.

The arrival at Fulham of head coach Rene Meulensteen has done little to take the scrutiny away from beleaguered boss Martin Jol, and a 2-1 loss at home to Swansea last week made it four straight defeats.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce must choose whether to lead the line with captain Kevin Nolan or bring out-and-out striker Carlton Cole into the starting XI in Andy Carroll's (heel) continued absence. George McCartney and Alou Diarra (both knee) are expected to miss out, with Ricardo Vaz Te (shoulder) and Razvan Rat (hamstring) also absent.

Central defender Brede Hangeland could return from a sciatic nerve injury to boost struggling Fulham. Boss Martin Jol will make a late decision on the fitness of striker Dimitar Berbatov who arrived at training not feeling well. Striker Hugo Rodallega is recovering from a muscle injury and defender Matthew Briggs is making good progress after his hernia operation, but right-back Sascha Riether is still out suspended.

Last season: Fulham 3 West Ham 1, West Ham 3 Fulham 0

Last five league matches: West Ham L D D L L; Fulham W L L L L

Top scorers: Ravel Morrison (West Ham) 5; Hugo Rodallega & Darren Bent (Fulham) 3

Referee: Martin Atkinson.

Verdict: West Ham 1 Fulham 0

17:30 Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion ~ SkySports One

Newcastle also occupy a position in the top ten, and a three-match winning streak has sparked suggestions they could challenge for a European place. Having followed up wins over Chelsea and Tottenham with a hard-fought 2-1 victory against Norwich, Alan Pardew has urged his men to keep the momentum going at home to West Brom, in a game that can be seen live on Sky Sports 1HD on Saturday evening.

The Baggies are comfortably placed in mid-table but there will be a sense of frustration that they are not higher, having surrendered a 2-0 lead on Monday to draw with Midlands rivals Aston Villa.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew expects to be able to choose from an almost fully-fit squad. Full-back Mathieu Debuchy returns from his one-match suspension but faces a fight to retain his place given his side's recent form. Midfielder Massadio Haidara has come through two Under-21 games unscathed but is still some way from making his first-team return following a knee injury.

West Brom head coach Steve Clarke has concerns over Liam Ridgewell (calf), Billy Jones and Scott Sinclair (both hamstring), while goalkeeper Ben Foster is definitely out as he continues to recover from a stress fracture of his foot.

Last season: West Brom 1 Newcastle 1, Newcastle 2 West Brom 1

Last five league matches: Newcastle D L W W W; West Brom D L W D D

Top scorers: Loic Remy (Newcastle) 8; Saido Berahino (West Brom) 6

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

Verdict: Newcastle 1 West Brom 2

Sunday 1st December 2013

12:00 Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United ~ BTSports One

Tottenham and Manchester United are both outside the top four ahead of their weekend encounter, and there is just one point separating them in the standings. United will head to London full of confidence, however, after demolishing Bayer Leverkusen 5-0 in Germany to seal progression in the Champions League and extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to 11 matches.

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas, meanwhile, has had to dismiss reports that he was on the verge of being sacked after a 6-0 drubbing by Manchester City, and would love to give the White Hart Lane faithful something to cheer against United whilst also improving their paltry league goals tally of nine.

Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor is a doubt because of a groin injury. Midfielder Christian Eriksen (ankle), defender Danny Rose (toe) and striker Harry Kane (back) are all out, while manager Andre Villas-Boas is expected to recall the likes of Jermain Defoe, Kyle Walker and Paulinho, who were rested for Thursday's win over Tromso.

David Moyes faces a selection dilemma after his United side produced their best display of the season in hammering Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Wednesday. Marouane Fellaini is definitely available after suspension, while Moyes claims both Nemanja Vidic (concussion) and Robin van Persie (groin) "have a chance" of being available.

Last season: Tottenham 1 Man Utd 1, Man Utd 2 Tottenham 3

Last five league matches: Tottenham W W D L L; Man Utd D W W W D

Top scorers: Jermain Defoe (Tottenham) 9; Robin van Persie (Man Utd) 10

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral).

Verdict: Tottenham 0 Manchester United 2

14:05 Hull City v Liverpool ~ SkySports One

The nearest rivals to Arsenal at the moment are Liverpool, who played out a thrilling 3-3 draw with Merseyside rivals Everton last time out. The Reds produced another dynamic attacking display at Goodison Park but needed a late equaliser from substitute Daniel Sturridge to salvage a point, and the England striker will hope to return to the starting line-up alongside Luis Suarez against Hull in the first part of Super Sunday.

The Tigers suffered a potentially demoralising home defeat against struggling Crystal Palace last Saturday, having previously been beaten by Southampton, and Steve Bruce will be desperate for his players to arrest the slide with a good result at home.

Hull must alter their defence once again after Paul McShane tore a hamstring against Crystal Palace last weekend. Fellow centre-half Curtis Davies took a knock to the shin in that match but is expected to start, with Alex Bruce likely to partner him. Stephen Quinn (hamstring) and Sone Aluko (Achilles) are out but defender James Chester should be fit for the bench after two months on the sidelines.

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is likely to return to the starting line up having been dropped for the Merseyside derby. The England forward has a full week of training behind him after struggling to prove his fitness last week on his return from international duty. Manager Brendan Rodgers has to decide whether to stick with Jon Flanagan at left-back.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Hull L L W L L; Liverpool D W L W D

Top scorers: Robbie Brady (Hull) 4; Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) 11

Referee: Howard Webb.

Verdict: Hull 0 Liverpool 3

16:10 Chelsea v Southampton ~ SkySports One

Sunday's second televised match sees Chelsea lock horns with surprise package Southampton at Stamford Bridge. The Blues looked back to their ruthless best in a 3-0 victory at West Ham last week, which lifted them level on points with Liverpool, but they were anything but impressive on Tuesday as they lost 1-0 to Basel in the Champions League.

Southampton contributed to their own downfall against Arsenal as Artur Boruc's blunder gifted Olivier Giroud a comical opening goal, but they remain in fifth spot and will overtake Chelsea if they can do what West Brom so nearly achieved before the international break and inflict a first home league loss on Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o is expected to be out for two weeks with a groin injury after suffering a grade one tear in Tuesday night's Champions League loss at Basle. Fernando Torres, who made his return from an adductor injury when replacing Eto'o in midweek, could start. The Saints clash could come too soon for defender David Luiz despite his return to training from a knee injury, while midfielder Marco van Ginkel (knee) is a long-term absentee.

Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino will welcome back Jack Cork and Gaston Ramirez. Cork missed the defeat at Arsenal with an ankle injury but is now fully fit while Ramirez is back in contention after also missing the 2-0 loss at the Emirates Stadium after a late return from international duty. Harrison Reed and Sam Gallagher are unlikely to retain their places in the squad, with Guly do Prado a long-term absentee after undergoing knee surgery.

Last season: Southampton 2 Chelsea 1, Chelsea 2 Southampton 2

Last five league matches: Chelsea W W L D W; Southampton D W D W L

Top scorers: Eden Hazard & Oscar (Chelsea) 6; Rickie Lambert & Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) 4

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Verdict: Chelsea 2 Southampton 1

16:10 Manchester City v Swansea City

Manchester City have had no such problems in front of goal, scoring more times at home than any other side has managed in total. They have netted 26 so far in the Premier League at the Etihad Stadium in winning six out of six, so it is a daunting task that lies ahead for Swansea.

Michael Laudrup's men have shown over the past couple of seasons that they are capable of rising to tough challenges, and last weekend's 2-1 victory at Fulham lifted them into the top half.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says he is still to decide whether Costel Pantilimon or Joe Hart will play in goal this weekend. Captain and centre-back Vincent Kompany (thigh) is fit but will not return and fellow defender Matija Nastasic (calf) is also out. Playmaker David Silva and striker Stevan Jovetic remain on the sidelines with calf injuries but midfielder Jack Rodwell has overcome his latest niggle.

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup is set to be without Wilfried Bony and Angel Rangel. Striker Bony will be out for several weeks with a hamstring injury suffered in the Europa League defeat to Valencia, while full-back Rangel picked up a calf injury in the dying moments. Alvaro Vazquez and Dwight Tiendalli are set to deputise, while Wayne Routledge should return from a calf injury.

Last season: Swansea 0 Man City 0, Man City 1 Swansea 0

Last five league matches: Man City W L W L W; Swansea W D L D W

Top scorers: Sergio Aguero (Man City) 16; Wilfried Bony (Swansea) 9

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).

Verdict: Manchester City 5 Swansea 0

Source Sky/ Sporting Life
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