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Premier League MatchDay 12 ~ Preview

last updated Saturday 23rd November 2013, 11:48 AM

MatchDay 12 Saturday, November 23, 2013
Time Home   Away TV Referee
12:45 Everton  v  Liverpool BT P Dowd
15:00 Arsenal  v  Southampton M Clattenburg
15:00 Fulham v Swansea   A Marriner
15:00 Hull v C.Palace   A Taylor
15:00 Newcastle v Norwich   M Dean
15:00 Stoke v Sunderland   K Friend
17:30 West Ham v Chelsea Sky1 C Foy
MatchDay 12 Sunday, November 24, 2013
13:30 Man City    Tottenham Sky1 H Webb
16:00 Cardiff v Man Utd Sky1 N Swarbrick
MatchDay 12 Monday, November 25, 2013
20:00 West Brom v Aston Villa Sky1 M Oliver
Premier League MatchDay 12 sees the Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool taking centre stage as Premier League football returns after the international break.

Elsewhere on Saturday, first plays third as Arsenal entertain Southampton, while London pride will be put on the line when Chelsea take in a trip across the capital to face West Ham United.

At the bottom Crystal Palace travel to Hull, Sunderland visit Stoke and Fulham are at home to Swansea.

Sunday sees title hopefuls Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur go head-to-head at the Etihad Stadium and Cardiff City welcome reigning champions Manchester United to south Wales.

Saturday 23rd November 2013

12:45 Everton v Liverpool ~ BTSport1

The weekend action gets underway at Goodison Park, and there promises to be fireworks on Merseyside as Liverpool make the short journey across Stanley Park to face Everton - their fiercest foes. Spoils were shared between the pair in the league last season, with a 2-2 draw on the blue half of the divide followed by a goalless stalemate at Anfield.

Everton will be hoping to build on those results this term, but will need no reminding that they have taken just four points from the last six derbies in their own backyard. It will also be a case of starting afresh this weekend, with Roberto Martinez set to take in his first tussle with the Reds since taking the Toffees' managerial reins.

Everton have reported no fresh injury concerns. Defenders Antolin Alcaraz (hernia) and Tony Hibbert (calf) are both available after long lay-offs but unlikely to be thrown straight into the derby. Striker Arouna Kone (knee) and midfielder Darron Gibson (knee) are long-term casualties.

Liverpool left-back Jose Enrique has been ruled out with a knee injury which requires surgery so Aly Cissokho looks set to keep his place. Striker Daniel Sturridge has been affected by a dead leg but that did not prevent him playing 90 minutes for England in midweek. Captain Steven Gerrard is also playing through a hip problem but that will not be enough to keep him out.

Last season: Liverpool 0 Everton 0, Everton 2 Liverpool 2

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Romelu Lukaku (Everton) 5; Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) 10

Match Odds: H 15-8 A 11-8 D 12-5

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

Verdict: Everton 1 Liverpool 1

15:00 Arsenal v Southampton

Victory for Liverpool in the lunchtime kick-off would take them to the top of the Premier League table and throw down the gauntlet to current leaders Arsenal. Success for the Gunners in their latest game would guarantee that they cling on to the loftiest of perches, but they may have their work cut out against surprise package Southampton.

The Saints are just three points off the pace at present and are a club very much riding the crest of a wave. The involvement of Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert in the latest England squad will have them in buoyant mood, while Mauricio Pochettino's side can take heart from the fact that they have already taken positive results (and four points) away from Anfield and Old Trafford this season.

Arsenal will have forward Theo Walcott back from two months out following abdominal surgery. German defender Per Mertesacker has recovered from a virus which ruled him out of the defeat at Manchester United, but midfielder Mathieu Flamini is suspended. Yaya Sanogo (back), Lukas Podolski (hamstring), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby (both knee) all remain sidelined.

Jack Cork will miss out for Southampton due to an ankle injury. Guly do Prado is also absent after undergoing a knee operation, while Gaston Ramirez's fitness will be checked following from international duty with Uruguay.

Last season: Southampton 1 Arsenal 1, Arsenal 6 Southampton 1

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) 11; Rickie Lambert & Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) 4

Match Odds: H 11-20 A 5-1 D 3-1

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).

Verdict: Arsenal 2 Southampton 1

15:00 Fulham v Swansea

One manager firmly under the spotlight at present is Martin Jol, with Fulham having flattered to deceive thus far. Three straight defeats have dropped them into the relegation zone - with nine goals conceded and only one offered in reply during an alarming slump. Jol remains upbeat and is showing no signs of feeling the heat, but he has been around long enough to know that he is in the results business. Taking that into account, a visit from Swansea City may have arrived at a good time.

Michael Laudrup's men have stuck to their footballing philosophies and remain pleasing on the eye, but they have also gone three games without a win and have come unstuck in their last two Premier League trips out on the road. Fulham defender Brede Hangeland will miss the clash with Swansea because of a sciatic nerve problem.

Right-back Sascha Riether serves the second match of his three-game suspension while Damien Duff and Hugo Rodellega are out with groin problems. Matthew Briggs is sidelined after undergoing a hernia operation, with Moussa Dembele added to the squad as cover.

Swansea will again be without Michu and Pablo Hernandez due to ankle and thigh problems, respectively. Garry Monk has undergone knee surgery but Ashley Williams has suffered no problems since his return from an ankle injury, while Michel Vorm is back from suspension.

Last season: Swansea 0 Fulham 3, Fulham 1 Swansea 2

Last five league matches: Fulham W W L L L; Swansea L W D L D

Top scorers (all competitions): Hugo Rodallega & Darren Bent (Fulham) 3; Wilfried Bony (Swansea) 9

Match Odds: H 11-5 A 5-4 D 23-10

Referee: Andre Marriner.

Verdict: Fulham 1 Swansea 2

15:00 Hull v Crystal Palace

Fulham's troubles are nothing compared to Crystal Palace's, though, with a side rooted to the foot of the division still without a manager and in danger of being cast adrift. A return of one victory and just four points from 11 games suggests it is going to be a long, hard slog at Selhurst Park. Finding someone to take on the challenge of turning the tide is proving to be an unenviable task, with reported interest in Aitor Karanka and Dan Petrescu coming to nothing and former Stoke boss Tony Pulis yet to be lured back into the dugout. Keith Millen remains in caretaker charge of the Eagles for now, and he will have readied his troops for a trip to Hull City.

The Tigers were promoted alongside Palace last season, but have fared considerably better back among the elite and could move back into the top half of the table on Saturday. Hull are one of five teams yet to taste defeat on home soil this season, while Palace are the only side yet to pick up a single point on their travels.

Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor is expected to return after making a speedy recovery from a thigh injury. Robbie Brady is also expected to return after a hernia problem, but fellow Irish midfielder Stephen Quinn (hamstring) is out. Robert Koren is available after a foot injury, while long-term absentee Sone Aluko (Achilles injury) is also missing.

Midfielder Jonny Williams has recovered from an ankle injury and could play for Crystal Palace. Midfielder Adlene Guedioura is out after fracturing two ribs and suffering a partly collapsed lung in a collision with West Brom goalkeeper Boaz Myhill earlier this month. Striker Glenn Murray and defender Jack Hunt remain long-term absentees.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Robbie Brady (Hull) 4; Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) 2

Match Odds: H 4-5 A 7-2 D 5-2

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire).

Verdict: Hull 0 Crystal Palace 0

15:00 Newcastle v Norwich

Newcastle United tackle Norwich City. The Magpies have surged back into form following derby disappointment against Sunderland, with title hopefuls Chelsea and Tottenham humbled in their last two outings. Clean sheets have been taken from each of those fixtures and things are suddenly looking a lot rosier in the north east.

Former Newcastle manager Chris Hughton, now in his second season in charge of Norwich, will be fully aware of that fact and will also need no reminding that the Canaries have collected just one point from their five previous visits to Tyneside during the Premier League era.

Newcastle defender Mathieu Debuchy will miss the match through suspension. Manager Alan Pardew otherwise has a full squad at his disposal with defenders Fabricio Coloccini (groin), Steven Taylor and Paul Dummett (both hamstring) and midfielder Jonas Gutierrez, who was given compassionate leave to deal with a personal issue, all back in training.

Norwich remain without record-signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel as the Holland forward recovers from a toe injury. Winger Anthony Pilkington looks to have shaken off a hamstring problem but goalkeeper Mark Bunn has undergone a minor ankle operation. Midfielders Alexander Tettey (ankle) and Elliott Bennett (knee) are both long-term absentees.

Last season: Norwich 0 Newcastle 0, Newcastle 1 Norwich 0

Last five league matches: Newcastle W D L W W; Norwich L L D L W

Top scorers (all competitions): Loic Remy (Newcastle) 7; Gary Hooper (Norwich) 3

Match Odds: H 3-4 A 19-5 D 13-5

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral).

Verdict: Newcastle 3 Norwich 0

15:00 Stoke v Sunderland

Two of the four sides currently languishing below West Ham are Stoke City and Sunderland, and they will lock horns on Saturday afternoon at the Britannia Stadium. It is still far too early to be billing top-flight fixtures as 'must-win', but Mark Hughes and Gus Poyet will be aware of the need to avoid defeat against a fellow struggler.

Sunderland have shown signs of life of late - collecting impressive victories over Newcastle and Manchester City to restore belief within their camp - and they are now just three points adrift of safety. Success against Stoke would draw them level with their weekend opponents and stretch the Potters' winless sequence to eight games - which could see pressure piled on Hughes' shoulders.

Stoke have doubts over the fitness of Kenwyne Jones and Marc Wilson. Striker Jones is reported to be carrying a shoulder problem but had not returned from international duty on Friday afternoon. Full-back Wilson came back from the Republic of Ireland's two games with a stiff hip.

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet will make a late check on defender Wes Brown as he continues his comeback from almost two years on the sidelines. Full-back Andrea Dossena and midfielder Lee Cattermole both complete three-game bans.

Last season: Sunderland 1 Stoke 1, Stoke 0 Sunderland 0

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Kenwyne Jones (Stoke) 4; Emanuele Giaccherini (Sunderland) 3

Match Odds: H 19-20 A 3-1 D 12-5

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).

Verdict: Stoke 0 Sunderland 0

17:30 West Ham v Chelsea ~ SkySports 1 

Occupying a standing just below the Saints at present are Chelsea, with Jose Mourinho's men continuing to fly just under the radar. They will be delighted about that, with more having being made of the form of the frontrunners and the struggles of those below them. Upton Park has been a happy hunting ground for the Blues in the past, but their last trip from west to east London proved to be a forgettable one.

West Ham United secured a 3-1 victory almost exactly 12 months ago to put an early nail in the coffin of interim Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez. Sam Allardyce could do with more of the same on Saturday Night Football, with the Hammers without a win in four and only outside of the bottom three by virtue of a superior goal difference.

Razvan Rat is doubtful for West Ham with a hamstring injury but fellow defenders Joey O'Brien and James Collins (both hamstring) are expected to be fit. Winston Reid (ankle) could be fit and George McCartney (knee) is back in training, but Andy Carroll (heel), Mladen Petric (thigh), Matthew Taylor (thigh) and Alou Diarra (both knee) are absent.

Left-back Ashley Cole is in the Chelsea squad despite being substituted while on England duty with a recurrence of a rib injury. Striker Fernando Torres is back in training following an adductor injury but is not yet ready to return. Midfielder Marco van Ginkel, who is out long-term with a knee injury, is the only other absentee.

Last season: Chelsea 2 West Ham 0, West Ham 3 Chelsea 1

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Ravel Morrison (West Ham) 5; Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 6

Match Odds: H 4-1 A 4-6 D 14-5

Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

Verdict: West Ham 0 Chelsea 1

Sunday 24th November 2013

13:30 Manchester City v Tottenham ~ SkySports 1

Once attention turns to Sunday's action, the eyes of the sporting world will descend on the Etihad Stadium for Manchester City's home date with Tottenham Hotspur. Heavyweight tussles are coming thick and fast at the moment. City boast an unblemished record in front of their own supporters this season and will be looking to build on a return of 20 goals in five outings.

Spurs' defensive record, which has seen them breached just six times, suggests City may not have things all their own way, but Andre Villas-Boas' side have struggled for goals and need to find a spark from somewhere if they are to sustain a push for a top-four finish.

Manchester city captain Vincent Kompany (thigh) remains on the sidelines along with playmaker David Silva and striker Stevan Jovetic (calf). Manager Manuel Pellegrini must decide whether to restore Joe Hart or retain Costel Pantilimon in goal, while Midfielder Fernandinho and defender Matija Nastasic have recovered from knocks.

Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor could make his first appearance of the season against his former. Midfielder Christian Eriksen is out for four weeks with an ankle injury while Danny Rose remains sidelined because of a toe problem. Left-back Zeki Fryers and midfielder Nacer Chadli have recovered from groin and hamstring troubles while Hugo Lloris is fit to return in goal.

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

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Sergio Aguero (Man City) 13; Jermain Defoe (Tottenham) 9

Match Odds: H 7-10 A 19-5 D 14-5

Referee: Martin Atkinson.

Verdict: Manchester City 1 Tottenham 0

16:00  Cardiff v Manchester United ~ SkySports 1 

City would clamber above arch-rivals Manchester United for a few hours at least with a victory over Spurs, but the Red Devils will get the opportunity to offer a response when they bring the curtain down on the Premier League Sunday away at Cardiff City. United, written off by many just a few weeks into David Moyes' reign, are starting to move ominously through the gears, with four wins taken from their last five in the league and no defeats suffered in nine in all competitions.

Halting the United juggernaut is the challenge facing Malky Mackay's Bluebirds, and they will need to summon up the same strength they displayed against Manchester City during a 3-2 victory back in August if they are to claim another notable scalp and offer themselves a bit of breathing space.

Cardiff striker Andreas Cornelius returns from an ankle injury after 10 weeks on the sidelines. Peter Odemwingie has been passed fit after returning from international duty with Nigeria, with Aron Gunnarsson is also in the squad after Iceland's World Cup play-off defeat to Croatia.

Manchester United manager David Moyes must decide whether Nemanja Vidic will be fit enough to skipper his team after suffering concussion prior to the international break. Michael Carrick (Achilles) and Phil Jones (groin) are definitely out, while Robin van Persie missed Holland's recent matches with a long-standing toe problem and Marouane Fellaini has a wrist complaint.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Peter Odemwingie, Steven Caulker, Fraizer Campbell & Jordon Mutch (Cardiff) 2; Robin van Persie (Man Utd) 10

Match Odds: H 9-2 A 6-10 D 3-1

Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire).

Verdict: Cardiff 1 Manchester United 2

Monday 25th November 2013

20:00  West Brom v Aston Villa ~ SkySports 1

West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka could make his return from a groin injury and boss Steve Clarke is not ruling out winger Scott Sinclair (hamstring) being involved for the first time in six games. Chris Brunt, Gareth McAuley and Boaz Myhill all look set to feature despite withdrawing from their international squads during the break.

Aston Villa could be boosted by the return of three key forwards. Andreas Weimann (hamstring) and Gabriel Agbonlahor (ankle) have missed recent games while Christian Benteke had a knee issue while on international duty with Belgium. Fabian Delph (knee) and Antonio Luna (hamstring) are also over recent problems. Defender Joe Bennett is still struggling with a back injury.

Last season: West Brom 2 Aston Villa 2, Aston Villa 1 West Brom 1

Last five league matches: West Brom D D L W D; Aston Villa D L L D W

Top scorers (all competitions): Saido Berahino (West Brom) 6; Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) 5

Match Odds: H 1-1 A 11-4 D 12-5

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).

Source Sky/ Sporting Life
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