Premier League Weekend Preview: Game-by-Game Guide

Premier League Weekend Preview: Game-by-Game Guide

By:Sam Tighe
(Featured Columnist) on November 9, 2012
Hi-res-155462079_crop_650x440 Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Week 11 of the English Premier League is here, and ahead, Bleacher Report will bring you a full preview of the games in store.

Sunday is jammed with top-tier action as Liverpool face Chelsea and Spurs travel to Manchester City, while Saturday boasts its own lineup of Arsenal vs. Fulham, Everton vs. Sunderland and Aston Villa vs. Manchester United.

Read on to find injury news, suspensions, current form and more.

Arsenal vs. Fulham

Hi-res-155345471_crop_650 Alex Livesey/Getty Images

When: Nov. 10, 2012, 10.00 a.m. ET.

Where: Emirates Stadium

 

Arsenal host Fulham this weekend in a match with critical importance for Arsene Wenger’s side. Arsenal have very much fallen apart over the last four weeks and need to reinstate some semblance of form sooner rather than later.

Disappointingly, they’re level on points with Saturday’s opponents. While that’s no detriment to the Cottagers, it’s just not where Gunners fans expected their team to be at this stage.

Martin Jol can be quietly happy with his team’s start, but he will be eager to dispense with their penchant for draws.

 

Suspensions and Injuries: ArsenalJack Wilshere, Gervinho, Abou Diaby, Kieran Gibbs, Tomas Rosicky, Wojciech Szczęsny (50/50); Fulham—Mahamadou Diarra (50/50), Simon Davies.

Everton vs. Sunderland

Hi-res-154871495_crop_650 Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

When: Nov. 10, 2012, 10.00 a.m. ET.

Where: Goodison Park

 

Both these teams have hit a slight rut in form, with Everton’s four consecutive draws and Sunderland’s one win from six disturbing their respective managers.

David Moyes and Martin O’Neill are old foes from when the Toffees would face Aston Villa in a battle for the title of “best team outside of the big four,” so expect a hotly contested duel here.

Like so many games already this season, the Black Cats‘ fortunes will depend on their successes when trying to contain the monstrous Marouane Fellaini.

 

Team news is pending for both sides.

Reading vs. Norwich

Hi-res-152084077_crop_650 Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

When: Nov. 10, 2012, 10.00 a.m. ET.

Where: Madejski Stadium

 

How many must-win games will Reading face in a row? If the draw at home to Fulham was billed as crucial, then the draw at Queens Park Rangers was downright season-defining.

Norwich are unbeaten in three, with two wins against Stoke and Arsenal to brag about. That’s home form,  though, and they have positively struggled away from Carrow Road.

Can the Royals finally bag that first win of the season in front of their own fans, or will Chris Hughton’s troops grab another surprise win?

 

Suspensions and Injuries: ReadingAlex McCarthy, Jem Karacan, Danny Guthrie; Norwich—Harry Kane.

Southampton vs. Swansea

Hi-res-155574718_crop_650 Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

When: Nov. 10, 2012, 10.00 a.m. ET.

Where: St. Mary’s Stadium

 

Free-scoring Swansea are up and down in form, and their one win in their last eight contests may just inspire their opponents, Southampton, to an unlikely victory.

Nigel Adkins’ woes continued on Monday as his team fell to West Bromwich Albion, and poor defending was again to blame for the defeat.

You’d be mad to bet on Saints keeping a clean sheet in this game, but they do have a reasonable record of scoring on their home pitch.

 

Suspensions and Injuries: SouthamptonJack Cork (50/50), Frazer Richardson (50/50); Swansea—Michel Vorm, Kyle Bartley, Neil Taylor, Chico Flores (50/50).

Stoke vs. Queens Park Rangers

Hi-res-154518306_crop_650 Scott Heavey/Getty Images

When: Nov. 10, 2012, 10.00 a.m. ET.

Where: Britannia Stadium

 

Queens Park Rangers are one of the few teams in the English Premier League without a single win so far this season, and Tony Pulis’ Stoke is the last team you want to face in that situation.

The Potters have drawn a colossal six games already this season and remain undefeated at home. Mark Hughes faces a tough job travelling to the Midlands and attempting to grab three points.

Stoke have already secured results against Manchester City and Arsenal at the Britannia this season, while QPR have lost every away game but one.

 

Suspensions and Injuries: StokeMarc Wilson, Michael Owen, Rory Delap; QPR—team news pending.

Wigan Athletic vs. West Bromwich Albion

Hi-res-155574897_crop_650 Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

When: Nov. 10, 2012, 10.00 a.m. ET.

Where: DW Stadium

 

Both Wigan and West Brom are coming into this game off of spectacular results: The home side conquered Tottenham at White Hart Lane; the Baggies trumped a desperate Southampton team and recorded a clean sheet.

The Latics have the ability to turn on the style, but they sometimes fail to fire on all cylinders. Steve Clarke’s side, on the other hand, are defensively excellent on a consistent basis.

This contest looks like an evenly matched bout with either team capable of nicking it.

 

Injuries/doubts: WiganAlbert Crusat, Ryo Miyaichi, James McArthur (50/50); West BromBen Foster (50/50).

Aston Villa vs. Manchester United

Hi-res-155018976_crop_650 Clive Rose/Getty Images

When: Nov. 10, 2012, 12.30 a.m. ET.

Where: Villa Park

 

Paul Lambert’s side will be on cloud nine after a vital result over Sunderland last week.

The 1-0 win creates a clear gap between Aston Villa and the relegation zone, but this week’s visitors are unlikely to show the same profligacy the Black Cats showed.

Manchester United are top of the table and hold an incredible record over the Villans. Wayne Rooney has scored a ridiculous eight goals in eight games against Villa, and that record shows no signs of halting any time soon.

 

Suspensions and Injuries: Aston VillaEric Lichaj, Darren Bent, Joe Bennett (50/50); Man Utd—Jonny Evans (50/50), Nani, Shinji Kagawa, Nemanja Vidic, Phil Jones.

Manchester City vs. Tottenham

Hi-res-155676534_crop_650 Alex Livesey/Getty Images

When: Nov. 11, 2012, 8.30 a.m. ET.

Where: Etihad Stadium

 

Despite a few setbacks, Tottenham are still one of the most in-form teams in the English Premier League, but how will Andre Villas-Boas’ side prepare for this one after sending out a near-full-strength side against Maribor?

Manchester City looked ropey against Ajax yet again as their European woes continued, but they remain unbeaten in EPL fixtures thus far.

Aston Villa are the only side to go to the Etihad and win in the last two years. Can Spurs become the second?

 

Suspensions and Injuries: Man CityMicah Richards, James Milner, Jack Rodwell, David Silva (50/50), Joleon Lescott (50/50), Maicon (50/50); Spurs—team news to come.

Newcastle United vs. West Ham

Hi-res-155363602_crop_650 Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

When: Nov. 11, 2012, 10.00 a.m. ET.

Where: St. James’ Park

 

This match will likely centre on Andy Carroll’s return to St. James’ Park in a West Ham shirt.

Alan Pardew rung the changes in his UEFA Europe League tie with Club Brugge, so most first-team stars will be restored to the lineup and raring to go.

The Hammers’ injury crisis is easing up a little, and this should make for a closely contested match.

 

Suspensions and Injuries: NewcastleJames Perch, Danny Simpson (50/50); West Ham—Matthew Taylor, Ricardo Vaz Te, Jack Collison, Guy Demel (50/50).

Chelsea vs. Liverpool

Hi-res-155466035_crop_650 Alex Livesey/Getty Images

When: Nov. 11, 2012, 11.00 a.m. ET.

Where: Stamford Bridge

 

Brendan Rodgers rested his entire team midweek, sending the kids to Moscow to face Anzhi Makhachkala instead.

Luis Suarez and company will be fresh and ready to take on Roberto Di Matteo’s troops, who struggled mightily to overcome Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.

Liverpool are expected to switch to a three-man central defensive system, bringing even more intrigue to an already pulsating game of football.

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