MANCHESTER UNITED VS NORWICH CITY
April 26, 2014 (Old Trafford): Manchester United 4-0 Norwich
- Manchester United have kept six clean sheets in their last seven Barclays Premier League matches at Old Trafford
- This match pits the team with the most clean sheets in the league this season (Man Utd – nine) against the team with the fewest (Norwich – one)
- Wayne Rooney has netted three goals and provided three assists in four league outings against the Canaries
- Norwich City have won just one of their last 19 BPL away fixtures (W1 D5 L13)
- United have won 10 and lost just one of their last 15 top-flight matches at Old Trafford
Louis Van Gaal could welcome Wayne Rooney back to the side with the striker close to recovery from an ankle injury that has kept him out since last month’s encounter with Leicester. Ander Hererra and Chris Smalling also trained with the first team and could return to contention this weekend. Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia don’t return until the New Year. It still remains to be seen whether Matteo Darmian and Jesse Lingard could feature but it’s deemed as highly unlikely. Bastian Schweinsteiger remains sidelined through suspension.
Norwich travel without Andre Wisdom (hamstring) and Matt Jarvis (knee) as they look to end a run of four straight top-flight defeats on the road.
Manchester United XI: De Gea; Varela, Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson; Schneiderlin, Carrick; Mata, Rooney, Depay; Martial
Norwich City XI: Rudd; Bassong, Olsson, Martin, Wisdom; O’Neil, Redmond; Tettey, Brady, Hoolahan; Jerome
PREDICTION: Manchester United WIN
CHELSEA VS SUNDERLAND
May 24, 2015: Chelsea 3-1 Sunderland
- Chelsea have won 18 and lost two of their last 21 Barclays Premier League matches against Sunderland
- Sunderland have allowed their opponents a league-high 99 shots on target this season
- The only team to defeat Chelsea in their opening 99 top-flight home matches under Mourinho were Sunderland; 2-1 in April 2014
- In four of the last five league meetings between Sunderland and Chelsea, the team who scored first ended up losing the match while the other ended 0-0
- Jose Mourinho and Sam Allardyce have met 10 times in the BPL as opposition coaches, and the Portuguese is unbeaten (W7 D3 L0).
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard is a doubt for the meeting after limping off with a hip injury in the defeat at Leicester, while Radamel Falcao is unlikely to overcome a muscle issue in time to feature.
Sebastian Larsson (knee) will miss out, but Allardyce could call on Younes Kaboul, who missed the 1-0 defeat to Watford through illness, while Lee Cattermole may return from a back injury.
Chelsea XI: Courtois; Ivanovic, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Terry; Pedro, Willian; Ramires, Oscar, Matic; Remy
Sunderland XI: Pantilimon; O’Shea, Yedlin, Jones, van Aanholt, Coates; Watmore, Borini, M’Vila, Toivonen; Fletcher
PREDICTION: Chelsea WIN
SOUTHAMPTON VS TOTTENHAM
April 25, 2015 (St Mary’s Stadium): Southampton 2-2 Tottenham
- Tottenham Hotspur are unbeaten in their last six Barclays Premier League matches against Southampton, winning five of those
- Spurs are unbeaten in their last six away matches in the top flight, winning two and drawing four
- Saints have taken the lead in three of their last four league meetings with Spurs, losing two and drawing one of those three matches
- Of all English players to have scored 15+ goals in the Premier League, only Daniel Sturridge (goal every 140 mins) has a better mins per goal ratio than Harry Kane (goal every 144 mins for Spurs and Norwich City combined)
- Mauricio Pochettino’s side have lost a league-high 11 points from winning positions this season
Southampton will check on the fitness of Graziano Pelle (knee) and Maarten Stekelenburg (ankle) ahead of the weekend.
Spurs, meanwhile, have doubts over Clinton N’Jie (knee), Moussa Dembele and Ryan Mason (both foot)
Southampton XI: Gazzaniga; van Dijk, Fonte, Yoshida; Soares, Wanyama, Romeu, Bertrand; Mane, Davis; Long
Tottenham XI: Lloris; Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Dier, Carroll; Lamela, Alli, Eriksen; Kane
PREDICTION: Southampton WIN
WEST BROMWICH ALBION VS AFC BOURNEMOUTH
October 28, 2014 (League Cup): Bournemouth 2-1 West Brom
- West Bromwich Albion have won just three of their last 12 Barclays Premier League home matches (W3 D3 L6)
- AFC Bournemouth have not won away at West Brom in six visits across all competitions (W0 D2 L4)
- Of current BPL clubs, West Brom have the worst record in December; winning just 10 of their 50 matches in the month and averaging 0.86 points per fixture
- West Brom and AFC Bournemouth have not met in the league since 1992/93, when the Baggies won both fixtures in the third tier of English football
- The last meeting between these two sides in any competition came in last season’s League Cup, when the Cherries won 2-1
West Brom will wait to see if Stephane Sessegnon is fit to play. The Benin playmaker sat out the match against Liverpool with a hamstring injury.
Joshua King will be fit to feature at West Brom after picking up a hamstring injury in the 2-1 home triumph against Man Utd last Saturday. The visitors could also welcome back winger Marc Pugh, but Lee Tomlin is unlikely to be risked ahead of a busy run of fixtures in the coming weeks.
West Brom XI: Myhill; Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Brunt; Evans; Gardner, Fletcher, Morrison, McClean; Rondón
Bournemouth XI: Boruc; Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels; Surman; Ritchie, Arter, Gosling, Stanislas; King
PREDICTION: West Brom WIN
STOKE CITY VS CRYSTAL PALACE
March 21, 2015 (Britannia Stadium): Stoke 1-2 Crystal Palace
- The side scoring first has won once in the four previous Barclays Premier League meetings between Stoke City and Crystal Palace
- Crystal Palace have won 10 of their last 15 away matches in the top flight (D1 L4)
- The Potters have kept seven clean sheets in their last nine league matches
- Crystal Palace are the only side to have not been behind at half-time in a BPL match this season (winning three and drawing 13 at the interval)
- Yohan Cabaye has netted four goals in four league appearances against Stoke
The home side will hope to have Xherdan Shaqiri back after the Switzerland international missed the 0-0 draw at West Ham United last time out due to a hamstring strain. However, Hughes will definitely be without Geoff Cameron. The defender also has a hamstring problem, though it is hoped he could be fit to face Manchester United on 26 December.
Bakary Sako and Mile Jedinak are ruled out for Palace with hamstring and ankle injuries respectively
Stoke City XI: Butland; Johnson, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Pieters; Cameron, Whelan; Afellay, van Ginkel, Arnautovic; Bojan
Crystal Palace XI: Hennessey; Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souaré; Zaha, Cabaye, McArthur, Puncheon; Bolasie, Wickham
PREDICTION: Stoke City WIN
EVERTON VS LEICESTER CITY
February 22, 2015 (Goodison Park): Everton 2-2 Leicester City
- Leicester City have won only one of their 18 Barclays Premier League meetings with Everton (W1 D13 L4) and none of the last 11 (W0 D9 L2)
- Romelu Lukaku has scored in his last seven consecutive matches across all competitions for Everton
- Only Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (18) has netted more goals in Europe’s top five leagues this season than Jamie Vardy (15) ahead of this weekend
- Since Lukaku’s BPL debut for Everton in September 2013, only Sergio Aguero (49) has more goals in the competition than the Belgian (37)
- If Leicester win this match, they will be top of the league on Christmas Day. Five of the last six teams to have been leading on 25 December have gone on to win the title, with the exception being Liverpool in 2013/14
Everton boss Roberto Martinez confirmed defender John Stones will be fit to feature despite going off against Norwich City through injury. James McCarthy, Phil Jagielka and Steven Pienaar are all nearing comebacks, though only the former has a chance of featuring on Saturday
Jeffrey Schlupp (hamstring) is sidelined for up to six weeks for the visiting side while Danny Drinkwater will miss out after limping off against Chelsea.
Everton XI: Howard; Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Baines; Cleverley, Barkley; Deulofeu, Barry, Koné; Lukaku
Leicester City XI: Schmeichel; Simpson, Fuchs, Morgan, Huth; Drinkwater, Mahrez, Kanté, Albrighton; Ulloa, Vardy
PREDICTION: Leicester City WIN
NEWCASTLE VS ASTON VILLA
February 28, 2015 (St.James Park): Newcastle 1-0 Aston Villa
- Newcastle United are unbeaten in their last eight Barclays Premier League matches against Aston Villa (W5 D3)
- Aston Villa have won none of their last nine league visits to St James’ Park (D3 L6)
- All seven of Georginio Wijnaldum’s Barclays Premier League goals this season have come at home. Only Jamie Vardy (eight) has scored more home goals in the opening 16 matchweeks of 2015/16 (Sergio Aguero also has seven home goals)
- Idrissa Gueye has made more passes (693), tackles (41) and interceptions (46) than any other Aston Villa player in the league this season
- Since beating Aston Villa 1-0 last February, Newcastle have won three of their 14 league home matches (W3 D4 L7)
Steve McClaren and Newcastle continue to battle with an extensive injury list. Tim Krul (knee) is out for the season, Gabriel Obertan (hamstring) and Massadio Haidara (knee) are not expected back until March and Steven Taylor (hamstring) will not return until January at the earliest. Mike Williamson and Jamaal Lascelles (both hamstring) are expected back for the home fixture against Everton on Boxing Day, while Cheick Tiote (groin/pelvis) could be back this weekend. Emmanuel Riviere is yet to feature this season after knee surgery.
Villa have a better fitness outlook, although Micah Richards will miss the trip to Newcastle, while Craig Gardner is in doubt, both due to knee problems. Jordan Amavi (knee) is out for the season.
Newcastle XI: Elliot; Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Dummett; Sissoko, Anita, Colback, Wijnaldum; de Jong; Cissé
Aston VIlla XI: Guzan; Hutton, Okore, Lescott, Bacuna; Veretout, Sanchez, Gueye; Sinclair, Gestede, Ayew
PREDICTION: Newcastle WIN
WATFORD VS LIVERPOOL
January 13, 2007 (Vicarage Road): Watford 0-3 Liverpool
- Watford have never won back to back home matches in the Barclays Premier League
- Liverpool have won eight and lost just one of the last nine meetings with Watford in all competitions, including their last four trips to Vicarage Road
- Watford are the 11th newly-promoted side to have gained 25+ points in their opening 16 matches of a Barclays Premier League season. None of the previous 10 have been relegated
- Liverpool have scored just two goals in the three league away matches that Philippe Coutinho has missed this season (0.7 per match), compared to an average of 1.4 goals per match with him in the side
- Watford striker Odion Ighalo has scored a higher proportion of his team’s BPL goals this season than any other player (56% – 10 of 18)
Joel Ekstrand, Rene Gilmartin (both knee) and Tommy Hoban (groin) will not feature for the home side over the weekend, but Valon Behrami (knee) could be in contention for a return.
Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp are without Danny Ings, Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez (all knee), Jordan Rossiter and Daniel Sturridge (all hamstring). Defender Mamadou Sakho (knee) is confirmed to be available after recovering from his injury which he picked up against Crystal Palace.
Watford XI: Gomes; Britos, Aké, Cathcart, Nyom; Watson, Deeney; Capoue, Jurado, Abdi; Ighalo
Liverpool XI: Mignolet; Clyne, Moreno, Skrtel, Lovren; Henderson, Can; Milner, Benteke, Coutinho; Lallana
SWANSEA CITY VS WEST HAM UNITED
January 10, 2015 (Liberty Stadium): Swansea 1-1 West Ham
- Swansea City have won none of their last six Barclays Premier League home matches at Liberty Stadium (D3 L3), failing to score in four of those.
- West Ham United have won three and lost none of their last five league matches against Swansea
- Bafetimbi Gomis scored with four of his first 10 shots (excl. blocked) in the league this term, but has since netted just one goal from 21 shots (excl. blocked)
- The Hammers have had the most goal attempts from set-piece situations in the BPL this season (29)
- Andy Carroll has scored four goals in his last four league appearances against Swansea
The Swans report no new injuries, with Jonjo Shelvey (calf) and Eder (ankle) all expected to return after missing the trip to Manchester City last weekend.
West Ham travel without on-loan winger Victor Moses (thigh), Dimitri Payet (ankle), Winston Reid (hamstring) and Diafra Sakho (thigh). Manuel Lanzini (thigh) could return to contention after recovering from a knock sustained in training.
Swasnea XI: Fabianski; Fernandez, Taylor, Rangel, Williams; Britton, Sung-yueng, Cork; Sigurdsson, Ayew, Routledge
West Ham XI: Adrián; Cresswell, Collins, Tomkins, Ogbonna; Noble; Kouyaté, Song, Antonio, Zárate; Carroll
PREDICTION: West Ham WIN
ARSENAL VS MANCHESTER CITY
January 18, 2015 (Etihad Stadium): Manchester City 0-2 Arsenal
- Arsenal have lost one of their 18 Barclays Premier League home matches against Manchester City (W11 D6 L1), but have won just one of the last six (W1 D4 L1)
- Man City have lost 22 BPL matches against Arsenal, their joint-highest number of defeats against any opponent (along with Chelsea)
- Arsenal have conceded 11 goals in their last 20 BPL home matches
- Man City have won none of their last four league away fixtures and failed to score in the last three in a row
- Kelechi Iheanacho’s two top-flight goals this season have won Man City four points; the same total that Olivier Giroud’s nine goals have earned Arsenal
Injuries to key players mean that Mikel Arteta (knock), Santi Carzola, Francis Coquelin, Tomas Rosicky, and Danny Welbeck (all knee) will be unavailable, with a majority of them expected to return after the new year. Midfielder Alexis Sanches (hamsring) has a “slight chance” of returning according to Arsene Wenger.
Samir Nasri (hamstring) is City’s only long term absentee, with Sergio Aguero (heel), Pablo Zabaleta (knee), Fernando (hamstring) and Vincent Kompany (calf) all hopeful for a first team return on Monday.
Arsenal XI: Cech; Koscielny, Bellerín, Mertesacker, Monreal; Ramsey, Campbell; Flamini, Walcott, Özil; Giroud
Manchester City XI: Hart; Sagna, Mangala, Otamendi, Clichy; Silva, Fernandinho; Sterling, Touré, Navas; Bony
PREDICTION: Arsenal WIN