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Premier League MatchDay 33 Preview

last updated Saturday 13th April 2013, 10:54 PM

Premiership MatchDay 33 Fixtures
Saturday 13th April 2013
KO Home   Away Ref TV
15:00 Arsenal v Norwich M Jones  
15:00 Norwich v Swansea M Oliver  
15:00 Aston Villa v Fulham P Dowd  
15:00 Everton v QPR L Mason  
15:00 Reading v Liverpool M Clattenburg  
15:00 Southampton v West Ham M Dean  
Sunday 14th April 2013
12:00 Newcastle v Sunderland H Webb Sky1
14:05 Stoke v Man Utd J Moss Sky1
Premier League MatchDay 33 kicks off on Saturday at Arsenal who have an opportunity to move into third place if they can beat a Norwich City side still scrapping to avoid relegation. The Gunners are currently fifth, two points adrift of Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, but neither of their London rivals are in Premier League action this weekend.

Aston Villa have won three of their last four games, all against sides in the bottom six. But, have fixtures against Manchester United and Chelsea still to come. Fulham have won only three times away from home in the league this season although they are unbeaten in five out of six games including a 1-0 victory over Tottenham.

QPR travel to Everton on Saturday for yet another must-win game in their battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League. David Moyes' side have notched up three wins in a row at Goodison Park to maintain hopes of Europa League qualification, with a top-four spot not completely out of the question.

Premiership table - after 8th April 2013
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Man Utd 31 14 0 2 40 17 11 2 2 31 16 38 77
2 Man City 31 11 3 1 35 11 8 5 3 22 16 30 65
3 Chelsea 31 10 4 2 35 13 7 3 5 26 20 28 58
4 Tottenham 32 8 5 3 24 17 9 2 5 31 23 15 58
5 Arsenal 31 9 3 3 39 20 7 5 4 22 14 27 56
6 Everton 31 9 6 1 28 17 4 7 4 21 20 12 52
7 Liverpool 32 8 4 4 30 14 5 6 5 29 26 19 49
8 West Brom 32 9 2 5 24 16 4 3 9 18 27 -1 44
9 Swansea 32 6 6 4 28 23 4 5 7 15 19 1 41
10 Fulham 31 7 3 5 25 19 3 6 7 18 28 -4 39
11 Southampton 32 6 5 5 24 19 3 5 8 22 34 -7 37
12 West Ham 31 7 4 4 26 18 3 3 10 9 26 -9 37
13 Newcastle 32 9 1 6 24 21 1 5 10 18 35 -14 36
14 Norwich 32 6 7 3 18 17 1 7 8 12 32 -19 35
15 Stoke 32 6 7 3 19 18 1 6 9 9 21 -11 34
16 Aston Villa 32 4 4 8 15 24 4 5 7 20 35 -24 33
17 Sunderland 32 4 6 6 17 17 3 4 9 17 28 -11 31
18 Wigan 31 4 4 8 20 32 4 3 8 17 25 -20 31
19 QPR 32 2 8 6 12 23 2 4 10 17 29 -23 24
20 Reading 32 4 6 6 23 31 1 2 13 13 32 -27 23
Reading welcome Liverpool to the Madejski Stadium on Saturday aiming to keep alive their slim hopes of staying up. Liverpool are currently seventh in the Premier League, nine points adrift of the top four with six games remaining. Brendan Rodgers is refusing to give up hope of qualifying for Europe and will be keen to see his side pick up all three points after dropping two at home to West Ham last time out.

Southampton and West Ham meet at St Mary's on Saturday, with both sides knowing that a win should secure their Premier League survival. The Saints have won three games in a row to move up to 11th in the table, and have won their last two home games against Chelsea and Liverpool. West Ham have also taken a recent positive result against Liverpool, drawing at Anfield last weekend. That result followed a home win against West Brom, and has drawn the Hammers close to safety

Premier League MatchDay 33 continues on Sunday with the Tyne-Wear derby and it is not just bragging rights up for grabs in as Sunderland battle for their Premier League lives against a Newcastle United side with a five-point cushion. The St James' Park faithful were in good voice in midweek and will be hoping to roar their team on to victory against local rivals Sunderland,

Manchester United travel to the Stoke looking to bounce back from their derby defeat by neighbours City. The 2-1 loss was United's second defeat in a row, only the second time this season the Old Trafford club have suffered such a run. Stoke, meanwhile, have a very different agenda. Tony Pulis' men are on a dreadful run, with one win and just five points in their last 13 Premier League matches.

Saturday 13 April 2013

15:00 - Arsenal (5) v Norwich (14)  

Arsenal have found form at just the right time and will be targeting a fourth successive win against Norwich to climb above Tottenham and Chelsea into third place. Neither of their London rivals are in league action this weekend so the Gunners have an opportunity to capitalise, although they were beaten 1-0 at Carrow Road in the reverse fixture in October.

That result ignited a superb run for the Canaries and they cold do with another kick-start for the run-in after slipping to 14th place, just four points above the relegation spots.

Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky faces a fitness test on his hamstring and is rated as 50/50.

England duo Jack Wilshere (ankle) and Theo Walcott (hip/thigh) are ready to return but centre-back Per Mertesacker serves a one-match suspension, so captain Thomas Vermaelen is set to return to the defence. Midfielder Abou Diaby (knee) is a long-term absentee.

Norwich will assess the fitness of goalkeeper Mark Bunn (groin). Lee Camp is ready to deputise, while winger Anthony Pilkington should be available again after his hamstring injury. England goalkeeper John Ruddy will not yet be risked as he continues his recovery from thigh surgery.

Last season: Arsenal 3 Norwich 3, Norwich 1 Arsenal 2

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Theo Walcott (Arsenal) 18; Luciano Becchio (Norwich) 18

Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire).

15:00 - Aston Villa (16) v Fulham (10)

Aston Villa are just a point behind Norwich and two clear of trouble after claiming three victories in their past four games, including the thrilling win at Stoke last time out. Matthew Lowton's spectacular strike helped boost Villa's survival bid but Paul Lambert will want to keep the momentum going against a Fulham side comfortably placed in mid-table and aiming for a top-half finish.

Aston Villa striker Darren Bent is nearing a return to full fitness but is still short of match sharpness. Manager Paul Lambert is also keeping an eye on the fitness of defender Ciaran Clark following a shoulder injury. Defender Chris Herd, winger Marc Albrighton (both foot) and defender Richard Dunne (groin) remain on the casualty list.

Fulham midfielder Eyong Enoh will undergo a late fitness test after injuring his ankle against Newcastle last weekend. Cottagers boss Martin Jol is already without midfielders Steve Sidwell (suspension), Ashkan Dejagah (ankle) and Mahamadou Diarra (knee). Dejagah will undergo ankle ligament surgery next week, joining Diarra on the sidelines for the remainder of the season.

Last season: Aston Villa 1 Fulham 0, Fulham 0 Aston Villa 0

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) 22; Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) 13

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

15:00 - Everton (6) v QPR (19)

Harry Redknapp lamented his toughest moment in football after a late Shaun Maloney goal denied Queens Park Rangers a precious win against Wigan Athletic, but he must now pick his troops up for a journey to Everton on Saturday. Seven points from safety with just six matches remaining, QPR will also be without the suspended Bobby Zamora when they face a side still chasing European qualification.

A 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur ended a run of three straight wins for Everton but kept them in contention for a top-four spot and they can close to within three points of Chelsea and Spurs with a home win.

Everton midfielders Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar both return from suspension. Manager David Moyes reported a few unnamed players had niggles but nothing too serious. Full-back Tony Hibbert made his first competitive outing after four months out with a calf problem for the under-21s this week.

QPR are missing striker Bobby Zamora due to suspension. Zamora will begin his three-game ban as a result of being sent off against Wigan last weekend. Shaun Wright-Phillips is out after undergoing ankle surgery but manager Harry Redknapp has otherwise declared a clean bill of health.

Last season: QPR 1 Everton 1, Everton 0 QPR 1

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Marouane Fellaini (Everton) 12; Loic Remy (QPR) 8

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire).

15:00 - Reading (20) v Liverpool (7)

Reading are in even deeper trouble than QPR, eight points away from security after last week's 2-0 defeat at home to Southampton made it seven consecutive losses. The last two of those have come under new manager Nigel Adkins, who says he is embracing the challenge of trying to keep the club up but realistically will know that anything less than victory this weekend could spell the end of their survival fight.

Liverpool are the visitors to the Madejski Stadium and are currently seventh in the standings, leading Brendan Rodgers to declare that he would like to qualify for the Europa League but could see the benefits of missing out.

Jimmy Kebe will miss out for Reading because of a groin problem while fellow midfielder Hope Akpan is a major doubt due to an ankle injury sustained in last Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Southampton. Royals boss Nigel Adkins said Reading have further niggles but no other players are expected to be ruled out.

Forward Raheem Sterling will be absent again for Liverpool as the club continue to manage the teenager's thigh injury. Winger Stewart Downing, who played in last weekend's goalless draw with West Ham despite illness, is now fully recovered. Forward Fabio Borini and midfielder Joe Allen (both shoulder) are sidelined, as is defender Martin Kelly (knee).

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Nick Blackman (Reading) 14; Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 29

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).

15:00 - Southampton (11) v West Ham (12)

Southampton and West Ham are locked together on 37 points ahead of their meeting at St Mary's and both teams will feel they are just one win away from guaranteeing their top-flight status for another year.

Saints have earned rave reviews for their brand of football under Mauricio Pochettino and can make it four victories in a row if they prevail against a Hammers team that held Liverpool to a goalless draw at Anfield last weekend.

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino could be without a trio of players after a virus sidelined Luke Shaw, Jason Puncheon and Jay Rodriguez. Other than the three players fighting illness, Pochettino's side has a clean bill of health.

West Ham will have on-loan striker Andy Carroll available after he was ineligible for last weekend's goalless draw against parent club Liverpool. Midfielder Joe Cole (hamstring) and Mark Noble (shoulder) are still sidelined, while defenders Winston Reid (hip) and George McCartney (knee) also remain out.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Rickie Lambert (Southampton) 14; Kevin Nolan (West Ham) 6

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral).

Sunday 14 April 2013

12:00 - Newcastle (13) v Sunderland (17) - Sky1

All eyes will be on St James' Park for the early kick-off on Sunday as Paolo Di Canio takes his Sunderland side on the short trip to Tyneside to meet Newcastle United. Papiss Cisse's last-gasp winner against Fulham last week sparked wild celebrations and lifted Alan Pardew's Magpies five points clear of trouble, but they will be keen to ease any lingering relegation fears and heap more pressure on their local rivals.

There were some encouraging signs for the Black Cats in the first game of the Di Canio era but a 2-1 defeat against Chelsea left them without a win in nine and outside the drop zone only on goal difference.

Newcastle defender Steven Taylor could be fit having missed the draw with Benfica with a knee problem. Midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa has shown no ill-effects following a hamstring problem while full-back Mathieu Debuchy and midfielder Cheick Tiote are working their way back from similar complaints. Defenders Davide Santon (hamstring) and Fabricio Coloccini (back) are expected to miss out.

Sunderland will be without suspended midfielder Craig Gardner but will hope for better news of defender Carlos Cuellar (ankle) and striker Danny Graham (knee), who have trained this week. Frontman Connor Wickham is a doubt with an unspecified knock.

Last season: Newcastle 1 Sunderland 1, Sunderland 0 Newcastle 1

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Yoan Gouffran (Newcastle) 13; Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) 11

Referee: Howard Webb.

14:05 - Stoke (15) v Man Utd (1) - Sky1

Stoke have been sliding in the wrong direction after a dismal run of form which has seen them pick up just one win since the turn of the year. Tony Pulis has never been relegated as a manager but he has faced criticism in recent weeks and a 3-1 loss at home to Aston Villa left his side within three points of the bottom three.

Next up for Stoke is the toughest challenge they could ask for at their Britannia Stadium home, as Manchester United aim to put their derby disappointment behind them. The Red Devils remain 12 points clear of Manchester City and can take another step towards the title by beating Stoke,

Stoke will check on the fitness of midfielder Matthew Etherington (back) and defender Marc Wilson (back/hamstring), with both players forced off in the loss to Aston Villa last weekend. Midfielder Glenn Whelan has trained this week and is fit to return after a back problem.

Ashley Young will be sidelined for Manchester United, he is facing two weeks out with an ankle injury sustained during the defeat to Manchester City. Jonny Evans (hamstring) should be fit while skipper Nemanja Vidic (calf) returns to training. Paul Scholes (knee) is definitely out.

Last season: Man Utd 2 Stoke 0, Stoke 1 Man Utd 1

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Jonathan Walters (Stoke) 9; Robin van Persie (Man Utd) 23

Referee: Jon Moss.

Source SkySports/Sporting Life
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