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Premier League MatchDay 22 ~ Preview

last updated Friday 17th January 2014, 11:47 PM

MatchDay 22 Saturday, January 18, 2014
Time Home   Away TV Referee
12:45 Sunderland v Southampton BT1 Chris Foy
15:00 Arsenal v Fulham   Lee Probert
15:00 C.Palace v Stoke   Mark Clattenburg
15:00 Man City v Cardiff   Neil Swarbrick
15:00 Norwich v Hull   Howard Webb
15:00 West Ham v Newcastle   Andre Marriner
17:30 Liverpool v Aston Villa Sky1 Jonathan Moss
MatchDay 22 Sunday, January 19, 2014
13:30 Swansea v Tottenham Sky1 Martin Atkinson
16:00 Chelsea v Man Utd Sky1 Phil Dowd
MatchDay 22 Sunday, January 20, 2014
20:00 West Brom v Everton Sky1 Michael Oliver
Premier League MatchDay 22 starts on Saturday with Southampton aiming to put a turbulent couple of days behind them to focus on matters on the pitch when Mauricio Pochettino's side head to Sunderland. Sunderland have moved off the bottom of the table on goal difference courtesy of the 4-1 win at Craven Cottage and drew 1-1 at Southampton back in August.

Arsenal will look to maintain their lead at the top of the Premier League table as they welcome Fulham to the Emirates Stadium. Fulham have won three of their last six games but heavy defeats to Hull and Sunderland in that time ensure that they remain embroiled in the relegation dogfight.

Premiership table - after 16th Jan 2014
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 21 7 2 1 18 6 8 1 2 23 13 22 48
2 Man City 21 10 0 0 38 6 5 2 4 21 17 36 47
3 Chelsea 21 9 1 0 22 8 5 3 3 18 11 21 46
4 Liverpool 21 9 0 1 27 6 4 3 4 24 20 25 42
5 Everton 21 7 3 1 21 9 4 5 1 13 10 15 41
6 Tottenham 21 5 3 3 13 13 7 1 2 13 12 1 40
7 Man Utd 21 5 2 4 14 10 6 2 2 21 14 11 37
8 Newcastle 21 5 3 3 17 12 5 0 5 12 15 2 33
9 Southampton 21 5 3 3 17 12 3 3 4 10 11 4 30
10 Hull 21 5 3 3 15 8 1 2 7 7 19 -5 23
11 Aston Villa 21 2 2 7 8 16 4 3 3 12 11 -7 23
12 Stoke 21 4 5 2 14 12 1 2 7 8 23 -13 22
13 Swansea 21 2 4 4 18 17 3 2 6 8 13 -4 21
14 West Brom 21 3 3 4 12 12 1 6 4 11 16 -5 21
15 Norwich 21 3 3 4 10 11 2 2 7 7 24 -18 20
16 Fulham 21 3 1 7 14 22 3 0 7 8 24 -24 19
17 West Ham 21 2 3 5 12 16 2 3 6 9 14 -9 18
18 Cardiff 21 3 3 5 10 17 1 3 6 5 17 -19 18
19 Sunderland 21 2 1 7 10 17 2 4 5 9 17 -15 17
20 C. Palace 21 3 2 5 8 14 2 0 9 5 17 -18 17
Tony Pulis comes up against former club Stoke for the first time when they visit Crystal Palace this weekend. Stoke have failed to win any of their last four games in the Premier League, and have only picked up three wins in their last 18 games, while Palace have secured four wins in their last 10 league games.

Manchester City are looking to record their 12th straight home win as they host Cardiff at the Etihad Stadium. Having not suffered defeat in any competition since November's 1-0 loss at Sunderland, Manuel Pellegrini's side enter the game in a rich vein of form. Cardiff are without a Premier League win in their last five games,

Norwich City host Hull City at Carrow Road on Saturday as both sides aim to rediscover form and move up the Premier League standings. The Canaries are without a win in their last six top-flight outings, leaving them languishing in 15th, just two points clear of the dreaded drop zone. Hull are unbeaten in their last three visits to Carrow Road and will look to complete a double over the hosts after a Robbie Brady penalty sealed victory in the return fixture.

The Hammers will be looking to improve their home form when they face Newcastle as they are without a win in their four previous home games and have only picked up five points in their last 11 home matches. Newcastle are eight points off the Europa League spots so if they are to have European ambitions it is crucial that they return to the north east with maximum points.

MatchDay 23 Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Time Home   Away TV Referee
19:45 Man Utd v Cardiff    
19:45 Norwich v Newcastle    
19:45 Southampton v Arsenal    
19:45 Swansea v Fulham    
20:00 C.Palace v Hull    
20:00 Liverpool v Everton BT1  
MatchDay 23 Wednesday, January 29, 2014
19:45 Aston Villa v West Brom    
19:45 Chelsea v West Ham    
19:45 Sunderland v Stoke    
19:45 Tottenham v Man City BT1  
Liverpool aiming to keep pace with the leading pack when they welcome Aston Villa to Anfield they will be looking to make home advantage count having won their last seven games in Anfield. Villa have won just one of their last seven games and they will be determined to avoid getting dragged into a relegation dogfight.

MatchDay 22 continues on Sunday with Swansea City looking to end a run of seven Premier League matches without victory when Tottenham visit the Liberty Stadium and the visitors will hope their resurgence under the leadership of Tim Sherwood can continue. Michael Laudrup will be hoping Swansea can start to register points quickly as they find themselves just three points above the relegation zone.

Jose Mourinho puts his long unbeaten home league run on the line again as Chelsea host Manchester United. Chelsea could go 12 points clear of United in the table if they can claim all three points. David Moyes' Red Devils - despite languishing in seventh spot - remain dangerous opponents particularly as they stopped a bad run with a 2-0 home victory over Swansea last weekend.

Saturday 18 January 2014

12:45 Sunderland v Southampton ~ BTSports 1

Sunderland will be keen to take advantage of the boardroom turmoil currently engulfing Southampton as they welcome the Saints to the Stadium of Light in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off.

The departure of influential chairman Nicola Cortese has led to speculation over the future of manager Mauricio Pochettino and a number of his squad, although the Argentine has since insisted he is '100 per cent committed' to the south coast club.

The Black Cats climbed off the foot of the table for the first time since November with their handsome win at Fulham and need to continue their upward momentum with safety just one point away.

The Black Cats will head into the game at the Stadium of Light looking for a fourth successive win in all competitions and a second in the league with a relatively clean bill of health, but with striker Ji Dong-won having left the club for German side Augsburg.

Goalkeeper Keiren Westwood has undergone shoulder surgery and will begin his rehabilitation next week, while defender Carlos Cuellar is around 10 days away from a return after a long-term hip injury.

Saints midfielder Victor Wanyama will not recover from his calf injury in time but full-back Calum Chambers should be available after illness. Goalkeeper Artur Boruc and striker Guly do Prado featured in last weekend's 1-0 victory over West Brom after injury but striker Dani Osvaldo serves the final game of a three-match suspension.

Last season: Sunderland 1 Southampton 1, Southampton 0 Sunderland 1

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Adam Johnson (Sunderland) 6; Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) 10

Match odds: H 2-1 A 7-5 D 9-4

Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

Verdict: Sunderland 1 Southampton 1

15:00 Arsenal v Fulham

Arsenal remain the team to overhaul at the Premier League summit and will be strong favourites to see off Fulham at the Emirates Stadium, with the Cottagers having lost 22 and drawn five of their 27 meetings away to the Gunners in all competitions.

Arsene Wenger's side are chasing a fifth successive victory, with three of their four previous wins coming on the road against West Ham, Newcastle and Aston Villa. Fulham, who are just one point above the bottom three, went some way to making amends for their drubbing at home to Sunderland with a 3-0 FA Cup victory over Norwich in midweek, with key duo Brede Hangeland and Maarten Stekelenburg returning.

Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky is set to play in a protective face mask against Fulham following surgery on a broken nose, but full-back Nacho Monreal (foot) is doubtful. Midfielders Mikel Arteta (calf) and Aaron Ramsey (thigh) are still out, along with captain Thomas Vermaelen (knee). Forward Nicklas Bendtner (ankle) is closing in on a return, while Yaya Sanogo (back) continues his rehabilitation. Abou Diaby and Theo Walcott are long-term absentees with their respective knee injuries.

Fulham defender Fernando Amorebieta is a doubt because of a knee problem. Captain Brede Hangeland could make his first league start since October after returning from back surgery in the midweek FA Cup third-round replay win over Norwich. Forward Darren Bent is pressing for a start after scoring against the Canaries. Goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg (ankle) remains a doubt.

Last season: Fulham 0 Arsenal 1, Arsenal 3 Fulham 3

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) 13; Steve Sidwell (Fulham) 6

Match odds: H 2-9 A 12-1 D 5-1

Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

Verdict: Arsenal 2 Fulham 0

15:00 Crystal Palace v Stoke

Stoke come up against the man they parted company with over the summer as they travel to Selhurst Park to take on Pulis' Crystal Palace.

The Eagles slipped to the foot of the standings after their 2-0 defeat at Tottenham last weekend but will not have a new man on penalty duties despite Jason Puncheon's comical miss from the spot at White Hart Lane.

Stoke, meanwhile, have just one point to show from their last four Premier League games and are shipping goals at an alarming rate, with 14 conceded in that spell. Mark Hughes' side have won none of their last eight Premier League away games, a run which includes six defeats.

Crystal Palace will be without loanee Cameron Jerome because the 27-year-old is unable to line up against his parent club. Former Stoke boss Tony Pulis will also be without midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi (calf) and winger Jerome Thomas (groin), while Yannick Bolasie faces a late fitness test with his own groin complaint and long-term absentees Jack Hunt (ankle), Glenn Murray (knee) and Paddy McCarthy (groin) remain out.

Stoke striker Kenwyne Jones will not be involved as a result of his refusal to play against Liverpool last weekend. Potters boss Mark Hughes has decided Jones, who has been fined two weeks' wages, should not be considered for selection. New signing John Guidetti, recruited on loan from Manchester City earlier this week, will add firepower to Hughes' squad. Another loanee, winger Oussama Assaidi, is available after being ineligible to face Liverpool last week, and Jack Butland is set to continue in goal after playing his first full top-flight match against the Reds. Asmir Begovic, Robert Huth, Andy Wilkinson and Matthew Etherington miss out due to injuries.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Marouane Chamakh (Crystal Palace) 5; Peter Crouch & Charlie Adam (Stoke) 6

Match odds: H 5-4 A 12-5 D 21-10

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

Verdict: Crystal Palace 2 Stoke 0

15:00 Manchester City v Cardiff

Cardiff are the latest side with the unenviable task of attempting to stop the Manchester City steamroller at the Etihad Stadium.

Pellegrini's side have won all 10 of the Premier League games they have hosted this season, scoring 38 goals in the process, with a staggering 99 already notched in all competitions at home and on the road.

To add to their armoury, Sergio Aguero took a matter of seconds to confirm his return to fitness with a goal after stepping off the bench against Blackburn in the FA Cup. New Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw his side suffer a damaging 2-0 home defeat to West Ham on his Premier League bow to slip into the bottom three.

Manchester City trio Yaya Toure, David Silva and Vincent Kompany are all back in contention after they were all rested for the 5-0 FA Cup third-round replay win over Blackburn in midweek. Sergio Aguero, who came off the bench against Rovers after eight games out, could again be a substitute. Striker Stevan Jovetic and midfielder Jack Rodwell (both hamstring) are close to fitness while playmaker Samir Nasri (knee) is a long-term casualty.

Cardiff are set to be without Andrew Taylor and Jordon Mutch for the trip to the Etihad Stadium. Taylor has an ankle problem, while Mutch is also sidelined by injury, but Craig Bellamy could start against his old club after making an impact off the bench against West Ham last week. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also has to decide whether to hand first starts to new signings Magnus Wolff Eikrem and Mats Moller Daehli.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Alvaro Negredo (Man City) 21; Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff) 5

Match odds: H 1-8 A 20-1 D 7-1

Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)

Verdict: Manchester City 4 Cardiff 0

15:00 Norwich v Hull 

Norwich City are another side in trouble at the wrong end of the Premier League table as they prepare to tackle Hull City, with the Canaries' limp FA Cup exit away to Fulham in midweek an eighth game without a win for Chris Hughton's struggling team.

Norwich are now just two points above the drop zone, with chief executive David McNally suggesting that, in sporting terms, relegation is a fate worse than death.

Hull are in the top half but only three points better off than their weekend opponents, with Steve Bruce making moves to bolster his squad in the January transfer window with Shane Long set to join fellow striker Nikica Jelavic in the Tigers' squad.

Norwich boss Chris Hughton may give a debut to new signing Jonas Gutierrez after he joined from Newcastle. Alex Tettey and Anthony Pilkington will also both be in the squad after long injury absences. Centre-back Michael Turner (hamstring), midfielder Jonny Howson (back) and winger Elliott Bennett (knee) are all expected to remain out.

Hull could hand debuts to £14million of new strikers at Norwich, with Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long both signed in time to face the Canaries. Jelavic is a likelier starter having trained with the side this week, but Long may also feature as Yannick Sagbo and Danny Graham come under pressure for places up front. Paul McShane (ankle), Sone Aluko (Achilles) and Robbie Brady (groin) are still missing, while Gedo has returned to parent club Al Ahly after an unsuccessful loan spell was brought to a close.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Gary Hooper (Norwich) 7; Matt Fryatt (Hull) 5

Match odds: H 13-10 A 11-5 D 11-5

Referee: Howard Webb (South Yorkshire)

Verdict: Norwich 0 Hull 2

15:00 West Ham v Newcastle 

There are more reunions taking place in the meeting between West Ham and Newcastle at Upton Park on Saturday as Allardyce and Pardew both face their former employers.

Newcastle go into the game on the back of three successive Premier League defeats and a further loss to Cardiff in the FA Cup, with the Magpies upset by the marginal, debatable but pivotal offside decision which went against them in the loss to Manchester City.

The Hammers eased some of the mounting pressure on their manager with the 2-0 victory away to Cardiff which lifted them out of the bottom three and saw striker Andy Carroll make his long-awaited return to action from injury.

Andy Carroll will again be in the West Ham squad to face his former side after the England striker came through an 18-minute cameo in the win at Cardiff last weekend. It was Carroll's first appearance of the season following a foot injury but he could play from the start against the Magpies, while defender James Collins and forward Ricardo Vaz Te are also in contention. Guy Demel (concussion) and Winston Reid (ankle) will not feature, with James Tomkins and skipper Kevin Nolan suspended.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has no fresh injury problems, with full-back Mathieu Debuchy completing his three-match ban and central defender Fabricio Coloccini continuing his recovery from a knee problem.

Last season: West Ham 0 Newcastle 0, Newcastle 0 West Ham 1

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Ravel Morrison (West Ham) 5; Loic Remy (Newcastle) 10

Match odds: H 2-1 A 11-8 D 9-4

Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)

Verdict: West Ham 2 Newcastle 1

17:30 Liverpool v Aston Villa ~ SkySports1

Liverpool cannot be discounted from the Premier League title race as they remain six points behind Arsenal ahead of their home date with Aston Villa, live on Saturday Night Football.

The goals continue to flow for Luis Suarez this season, with the Uruguay international adding two more to his top-flight tally of 22 in their 5-3 win away to Stoke last time out. Rodgers' side have won their last seven home games in the Premier League and have welcomed striker Daniel Sturridge back from injury.

Villa currently sit 11th in the table after their defeat by Arsenal, but are just five points above the relegation zone with only six separating 20th and 10th in the top-flight table.

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is set for a recall to the starting line-up after scoring on his comeback from injury as a substitute at Stoke last weekend. Midfielder Joe Allen and defender Mamadou Sakho return to the squad after both missing three matches through injury. Defenders Jon Flanagan (hamstring), Jose Enrique (knee) and Daniel Agger (calf) are still absent.

Striker Grant Holt and defender Ryan Bertrand are available for Villa after being signed on loan this week from Wigan and Chelsea respectively until the end of the season. Lambert, however, is definitely without defender Nathan Baker after he sustained concussion in Monday's 2-1 home defeat to Arsenal.

Last season: Aston Villa 1 Liverpool 2, Liverpool 1 Aston Villa 3

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 22; Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) 6

Match odds: H 1-4 A 10-1 D 5-1

Referee: Jon Moss (West Yorkshire)

Verdict: Liverpool 1 Aston Villa 2

Sunday 19 January 2014

13:30 Swansea v Tottenham ~ SkySports1  

Tottenham travel to Swansea on Sunday with the north London club enjoying a resurgence under new manager Tim Sherwood which has seen them take 13 points from the last 15 on offer.

Spurs remain firmly in the fight for UEFA Champions League football next season, trailing fourth-placed Liverpool by just two points.

Swansea, meanwhile, are struggling to match their achievements of last term, with Michael Laudrup's men currently on a run of seven Premier League games without success, which has seen them slide gradually down the standings to a position just three points above the drop zone.

Meetings between Chelsea and Manchester United have been pivotal in the title race for much of the past decade and the Sunday meeting between the duo is again a key game for both clubs.

Defeat for the champions could prove to be a fatal blow to their already dwindling defence, while the Blues do not want to lose ground on Arsenal and City.

David Moyes has never won in nine meetings with Jose Mourinho and is yet to taste victory in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge, with six draws and six defeats from 12 visits during his time as Everton boss. Mourinho, meanwhile, is looking for his 100th Premier League victory in just his 142nd game in charge.

Dwight Tiendalli and Roland Lamah will return to action for injury-hit Swansea but Jonathan de Guzman, Nathan Dyer, Pablo Hernandez, Michel Vorm and Michu all remain sidelined. Jose Canas is the latest addition to the injury list after damaging ankle ligaments against Manchester United.

Tottenham midfielder Sandro could make his return from a one-month calf injury lay-off. Winger Andros Townsend came through an under-21 game against Newcastle unscathed on Tuesday and could feature. Defenders Jan Vertonghen (ankle) and Younes Kaboul (thigh) are back in training but will not be risked, while Paulinho remains sidelined with an ankle injury.

Last season: Swansea 1 Tottenham 2, Tottenham 1 Swansea 0

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Wilfried Bony (Swansea) 12; Jermain Defoe & Roberto Soldado (Tottenham) 10

Match odds: H 21-10 A 11-8 D 11-5

Referee: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire).

Verdict: Swansea 2 Tottenham 2

16:00 Chelsea v Manchester United ~ SkySports1

Meetings between Chelsea and Manchester United have been pivotal in the title race for much of the past decade and the Sunday meeting between the duo is again a key game for both clubs.

Defeat for the champions could prove to be a fatal blow to their already dwindling defence, while the Blues do not want to lose ground on Arsenal and City. David Moyes has never won in nine meetings with Jose Mourinho and is yet to taste victory in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge, with six draws and six defeats from 12 visits during his time as Everton boss.

Mourinho, meanwhile, is looking for his 100th Premier League victory in just his 142nd game in charge.

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard could return from a calf injury. Right-back Branislav Ivanovic only returned to training on Friday following a knee problem and is unlikely to figure. New signing Nemanja Matic has been added to the squad but boss Jose Mourinho has said he will not start.

Wayne Rooney (groin) and Robin van Persie (thigh) will again be missing when Manchester United visit Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Rooney (groin) has at least started running again, whilst Van Persie (thigh) should return to training on Monday after nearly six weeks on the sidelines. United are looking for their sixth win out of seven in the Premier League but Moyes has never won a head-to-head meeting with Jose Mourinho.

Last season: Man Utd 0 Chelsea 1, Chelsea 2 Man Utd 3

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 11; Wayne Rooney (Man Utd) 11

Match odds: H 4-5 A 10-3 D 13-5

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

Verdict: Chelsea 2 Manchester United 0

Monday 20 January 2014

20:00 West Brom v Everton ~ SkySports1

The final fixture of the 22nd round of Premier League matches takes place on Monday night, with Pepe Mel taking charge of his first game since being appointed West Brom manager in the Hawthorns clash against high-flying Everton.

Mel inherits a side with just one victory from their last 10 Premier League games, although caretaker Keith Downing had overseen a four-game unbeaten run prior to the 1-0 defeat to Southampton.

It will be a stern debut examination against an Everton side who have suffered the least defeats of any team in the Premier League and have the joint-best defensive record to boot under Roberto Martinez.

New West Brom head coach Pepe Mel faces a potential striker shortage. Victor Anichebe and Stephane Sessegnon are both doubts with injuries, while Shane Long has left for Hull. Mel is also without two defenders - Billy Jones (eye) and Goran Popov (neck).

New signing Aiden McGeady will go straight into Everton's squad after joining from Spartak Moscow. Midfielder Ross Barkley is sidelined with a broken toe. Defender Sylvain Distin is back from a hamstring injury after a three-week lay-off but fellow centre-back Antolin Alcaraz is still missing.

Last season: Everton 2 West Brom 1, West Brom 2 Everton 0

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Saido Berahino (West Brom) 8; Romelu Lukaku (Everton) 9

Match odds: H 11-5 A 6-5 D 12-5

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Verdict: West Brom v Everton

Source Sky/ Sporting Life
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