Premier League Preview – Week 10

31/10/2012 no comments »
Premier League Preview – Week 10

Manchester United v Arsenal

This Saturday, Arsenal will head to Old Trafford desperate to prove that they can still mix it with the big boys. However, they don’t want a repeat of last year where Manchester United beat the Gunners 8-2. Arsenal go into the weekend 7 points behind the leaders Chelsea and 6 points behind United, but they could give themselves a huge lift if they can beat United at Old Trafford for only the fourth time in Premier League history. Last weekend, Arsenal managed to scrape a 1-0 win against London Rivals QPR and was boosted by Jack Wilshere’s return. Gervinho underwent a scan on Monday to determine the extent of an ankle injury. The Ivory Coast international was stretchered off during their defeat of QPR and will definitely miss the top encounter against Manchester United.

This game will be United’s 3rd tough test within 7 days as they have played Chelsea away twice in the past week and now host Arsenal. Last weekend’s encounter at Stamford will be remembered mainly because of the controversy rather than the match result. Chelsea received 2 red cards and United’s winning goal was offside. Additionally a couple of Chelsea players have come forward and accused referee Clattenburg of racial abuse. For this game, both teams will want to forget the past and just battle it out on the pitch as they both go on the hunt for 3 points.

Fulham v Everton

Both teams were involved in high scoring fixtures in the past week. Fulham were involved in a thrilling encounter with Reading and Everton played host to the ever feisty Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby. Just two points separate 7th placed Fulham and 5th placed Everton and so it will be a tough battle for the spoils of 3 points. Fulham dominated last week against Reading despite only gaining a point and Berbatov proved to be a key player for them and so he will be influential once again against Everton although there were worries that he came out of the Reading game with a possible broken rib. The Toffees want 3 points out of this game to keep the pressure on the top 4 and will welcome back Steven Pienaar after his one match ban.

Norwich v Stoke

Not the first game you might expect to see on Match of the Day come Saturday night, but nevertheless it will still be an opportunity for either team to snatch 3 points and climb up the table. Norwich have managed to pick up 4 points out of a possible 6 in their last two games, including a victory against Arsenal, which has lifted them 3 points clear of the relegation zone and they will be hoping to build on that in their campaign for Premier League survival. A goalless draw against Sunderland was The Potters latest result which means they have now had 6 draws out of 9 Premier League games.

Sunderland v Aston Villa

This is a battle of two bottom half teams and the return of Darren Bent to his former club. He will be out to make a statement and to prove his move was worthwhile although he is struggling to get in to the starting line up ahead of last week’s goal scorer Benteke. Last week’s 1-1 draw at home against Norwich will be seen as a disappointing result as Villa continue to flirt with the relegation zone. Sunderland’s new signing Steven Fletcher got off to a flying start but has since cooled down but is still the clubs leading goal scorer with 5 goals and all Sunderland related parties will be hoping he can find his shooting boots once again. Last season the two fixtures between these teams finished in a goal less draw and a 2-2 draw and by the way their results have been going this season, I think a draw would be a fair result.

Swansea v Chelsea

Both these teams have played midweek in the League Cup and will be running low on energy so the result could go either way. Last week, Swansea narrowly lost to Champions Manchester City and they also face a tough test away at Liverpool where they will be hoping to progress as far as possible in the cup. Headlines relating to Chelsea in the past week haven’t been about on the field performances as two players have criticised referee Mark Clattenburg for using “inappropriate language” towards them. Chelsea were involved in a thrilling match against Manchester United last week where they lost 3-2 but the score has been forgotten and replaced by these headlines. Di Matteo’s men will want to focus on the pitch in order to enhance their campaign for the Premier League title but Michael Laudrup’s men will be sure to be a tough test and in this fixture last year at the Liberty Stadium it finished all square.

Tottenham v Wigan

Spurs, the North London outfit, will be on the prowl to take maximum points from this fixture as they did twice last year. They have started this season in reasonable fashion and sit 4th with 17 points after 9 games. Andre Villas-Boas seems to be doing a good job but its these types of games that Tottenham need to win in order to rack up the points and keep up the chase on the leaders. A huge win for Wigan last week against West Ham lifted them further afield from the relegation zone and will be hoping for an upset against Spurs. Some people may remember a few years ago the 9-1 drubbing that the Spurs gave to Wigan at the White Hart Lane but this time around, Roberto Martinez and his men will want a far different outcome.

West Ham United v Manchester City

The Hammers were brought back down to earth last week with a 2-1 defeat away at Wigan after what has been a superb start to their return to the Premier League. They will certainly be looking to bounce back, especially since they can rest midweek after being knocked out of the League Cup by Wigan, coincidentally. What better way to bounce back than against the English Champions Manchester City, Sam Allardyce is a well established manager and he will certainly have his tactics ready for this game. Andy Carroll is starting to find his feet again after being injured for several weeks and he may prove to be crucial in this fixture. City just managed to scrape a win against Swansea last week in what many people thought City would dominate and the goals would fly in. They certainly have more than enough quality to beat West Ham but rarely does anything in the Premier League go to plan.

QPR v Reading

The second Sunday game in a row for both these teams but whether or not that will prove beneficial we will have to see. QPR still remain bottom of the table without a win although they will feel hard done by after narrowly losing to Arsenal to what looked like an offside goal. They will pick themselves up and dust themselves down in time for this game against Reading, who themselves haven’t won this season in the Premier League either. It was Reading that came out on top just a couple of months ago beating QPR 3-2 in the League Cup although Rangers will look to replicate their form against Reading in the Championship when they beat them twice in their promotion season.

Liverpool v Newcastle

Liverpool are another team who will feel hard done by after last Sundays result as they believe their disallowed winner against Everton should have stood and that would have placed them above Newcastle in the league going into this game. That’s how things go in the Premier League and everyone inside their camp will want a quick turnaround and an improvement to what has been their worst Premier League start in years. Newcastle on the other hand head into this game with back to back Premier League victories and could do worse than trying to replicate last season’s performance. Last season, it was Liverpool who took all 3 points and last week’s Man of the Match Luis Suarez could lead them to another victory here against the Geordies.

West Brom vs. Southampton

These teams haven’t played each other in a league game since 2008 when the spoils were shared in the Championship. 14 points from 9 games puts West Brom in a strong position and they could make that 17 points from 10 games against a struggling Southampton side. Saints manager Nigel Adkins is confident he will be given the time to turn around his side’s fortunes and start to pick up some points. Away at the Hawthorns on a Monday night in front of the Sky cameras will be testing for Southampton, but 3 points are starting to become a necessity as we edge ever closer to the half way point of the season.

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