#WeekendPreview: Matchday 20

WEST HAM UNITED VS LIVERPOOL

LAST MEETING

August 29, 2015 (Anfield): Liverpool 0-3 West Ham

KEY STATS

  • West Ham United have won as many Barclays Premier League matches against Liverpool in their last three meetings (two) as they did in their previous 22 combined
  • Liverpool have won five matches 1-0 so far this season, more than any other team in the competition
  • West Ham are now unbeaten in seven BPL home matches (W3 D4) and have not lost at the Boleyn Ground since 22 August 22 against AFC Bournemouth
  • Andy Carroll could make his 150th top-flight appearance in this match – 44 of those came for Liverpool, where he netted just six goals
  • Both teams have scored in each of the last five league matches between the two at the Boleyn Ground (21 in total)

TEAM NEWS

Dimitri Payet (ankle), Nikica Jelavic (knee) and Aaron Cresswell (muscle) could all return to action for the home side against Liverpool. Enner Valencia picked up a knock in the triumph against Southampton, Victor Moses and Winston Reid (both hamstring) are unlikely to be fit enough to return and Diafra Sakho (thigh) is still on the sidelines.

Captain Jordan Henderson is a doubt for Liverpool having picked up a knock at Sunderland but James Milner is out due to a calf problem and Divock Origi will miss three weeks with a hamstring injury, while Martin Skrtel is unavailable because of a similar issue.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

West Ham XI: Adrian; Jenkinson, Tomkins, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Song, Kouyate, Antonio, Payet, Lanzini; Carroll

Liverpool XI: Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno; Can, Lucas; Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino; Benteke

PREDICTION: West Ham WIN


SUNDERLAND VS ASTON VILLA

LAST MEETING

August 29, 2015 (Villa Park): Aston Villa 2-2 Sunderland

KEY STATS

  • Sunderland have failed to score in six of the last eight Barclays Premier League matches against Aston Villa
  • Aston Villa have lost none of the last nine BPL meetings with Sunderland (W4 D5)
  • Villa have won on their last three trips at the Stadium of Light without conceding a goal
  • Only Sunderland (six in 2005/06) and Derby (seven in 2007/08) have had fewer points after 19 matches of a BPL season than Aston Villa this term (eight)
  • Villa are without a win in 18 matches (D5 L13); extending their longest ever winless run in their league history

TEAM NEWS

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce is facing a defensive crisis with Sebastian Coates (knock) a doubt after limping off against Liverpool. With Younes Kaboul (hamstring) sidelined, Allardyce will hope captain John O’Shea (calf) can return, but midfielder Jack Rodwell (hamstring) is set to miss to miss out.

Jores Okore (knee) could return for Villa having sat out the 2-0 loss to Norwich City, but Gabby Agbonlahor (back) and Carlos Sanchez (hamstring) are likely to miss out. Jordan Ayew, Villa’s top league scorer with five, and Ashley Westwood are both suspended.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Sunderland XI: Mannone; O’Shea, Brown, Jones, van Aanholt; M’Vila, Cattermole, Gomez; Borini, Defoe, Watmore

Aston VIlla XI: Guzan; Richards, Hutton, Clark, Bacuna; Grealish, Gil, Gueye, Veretout; Sinclair, Gestede

PREDICTION: Sunderland WIN


LEICESTER CITY VS AFC BOURNEMOUTH

LAST MEETING

August 29th, 2015 (Goldsands Stadium): Bournemouth 1-1 Leicester City

KEY STATS

  • Leicester City are unbeaten in the last five matches against AFC Bournemouth (W4 D1)
  • AFC Bournemouth have scored exactly one goal in all four of their away matches against Leicester
  • The Foxes have only conceded eight goals in their last 10 BPL outings
  • AFC Bournemouth have kept just one clean sheet in their 10 BPL away matches in 2015/16, which came in a 1-0 win at Chelsea
  • Jamie Vardy scored the first of his goals in his record-breaking run of finding the net in 11 consecutive Barclays Premier League matches in the reverse fixture against the Cherries back in August

TEAM NEWS

Matty James is unavailable with a knee injury while Leicester will also be without Jeffrey Schlupp because of a hamstring problem.

AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe will have to do without the services of Christian Atsu (shin) and Tommy Elphick (ankle), as well as long-term absentees Tyrone Mings, Max Gradel and Callum Wilson (all knee). Mings and Gradel both suffered their cruciate ligament injuries in the reverse fixture at the Vitality Stadium back in August, when a Jamie Vardy penalty four minutes from time secured a 1-1 draw for Leicester.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Leicester City XI: Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs; Mahrez, Drinkwater, Kante, Albrighton; Vardy, Ulloa

Bournemouth XI: Boruc; Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels; Ritchie, Gosling, Surman, Arter, Pugh; King

PREDICTION: Leicester City WIN


ARSENAL VS NEWCASTLE UNITED

LAST MEETING

August 29, 2015 (St. James Park): Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal

KEY STATS

  • In the last 14 Barclays Premier League meetings between Arsenal and Newcastle United, the Gunners have won 11. In the other three matches, Arsene Wenger’s side have had a player sent off, losing one and drawing two
  • There have been 18 goals scored in the last three league meetings between these two sides at Emirates Stadium
  • Olivier Giroud has scored eight goals in seven BPL matches against the Magpies
  • Arsene Wenger has won 10 of his 11 meetings with Steve McClaren in the competition (L1)
  • The Gunners have dropped just two points in their last seven Barclays Premier League home matches, winning 19 of a possible 21 points there in this period

TEAM NEWS

Arsene Wenger could have Mathieu Flamini (ankle) back, although Mikel Arteta (fitness) and Alexis Sanchez (hamstring) remain out as Arsenal target a ninth consecutive league win over struggling Newcastle, who sit third-bottom after back-to-back defeats to Everton and West Bromwich Albion.

Newcastle are two points off safety but McClaren, who may be without goalkeeper Rob Elliott (illness) but could have Emmanuel Riviere (knee) and Rolando Aarons (foot) available for the trip to north London, maintains their season can be rescued.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Arsenal XI: Cech; Bellerin, Gabriel, Mertesacker, Monreal; Chambers, Ramsey; Campbell, Ozil, Walcott; Giroud

Newcastle XI: Darlow; Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Dummett; Sissoko, Tiote, Colback, Wijnaldum; Perez, Mitrovic

PREDICTION: Arsenal WIN


NORWICH CITY VS SOUTHAMPTON

LAST MEETING

August 30, 2015 ( St. Marys Stadium): Southampton 3-0 Norwich

KEY STATS

  • Norwich City have won just one of the last 10 meetings against Southampton in all competitions (W1 D5 L4)
  • Southampton have lost five of their last seven league matches (W1 D1 L5)
  • The Canaries have conceded just three goals in their last five BPL matches at Carrow Road, but have only found the net five times themselves in this sequence
  • Shane Long has scored six goals in his last nine league appearances against Norwich
  • Wes Hoolahan has now provided more BPL assists for Norwich than any other player (17)

TEAM NEWS

Southampton are once again without Graziano Pelle (knee) and Cedric (knock), while Oriol Romeu serves a one-match ban. Matt Jarvis (knee) remains on the sidelines for Norwich.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Norwich XI: Rudd; Martin, Bennett, Bassong, Brady; Howson; Tettey, Dorrans, Redmond; Hoolahan; Mbokani

Southampton XI: Stekelenburg; Martina, Van Dijk, Fonte, Bertrand; Clasie, Wanyama, Davis; Mane, Tadic; Long

PREDICTION: DRAW


WEST BROMWICH ALBION VS STOKE CITY

LAST MEETING

August 29, 2015 (Britannia Stadium): Stoke 0-1 West Brom

KEY STATS

  • Tony Pulis has only ever been on the losing side once in this fixture. His record at Stoke City was W5 D2 L1 and as West Bromwich Albion manager W2 D0 L0
  • Stoke won seven and lost just one of the 11 Barclays Premier League meetings with West Brom before Pulis took over at the Hawthorns
  • Under Tony Pulis in the top flight, Stoke averaged 186 successful passes per match and a passing accuracy of 66%. Mark Hughes’ Stoke tenure has seen them average 316 successful passes per match and 78% of passes completed
  • Arnautovic has had a hand in five goals in his last five league outings for Stoke (four goals, one assist)
  • There have been just 20 goals in the 13 BPL matches between Stoke and West Brom and just eight in the last seven encounters

TEAM NEWS

Marko Arnautovic, who scored against United and Everton, is expected to be feature despite a tight hamstring but the match is likely to come too soon for Marc Muniesa (hamstring) and Stephen Ireland (knock).

Winger James McClean serves the last of his three-match ban, while Pulis will give a late check on Jonas Olsson (hamstring).

PREDICTED LINEUPS

West Brom XI: Myhill; Evans, Dawson, McAuley, Brunt; Sessegnon, Fletcher, Morrison, Yacob; Lambert, McManaman

Stoke City XI: Butland; Pieters, Wollscheid, Shawcross, Johnson; Shaqiri, Whelan, Cameron; Arnautovic, Afellay; Bojan

PREDICTION: DRAW


MANCHESTER UNITED VS SWANSEA

LAST MEETING

August 30, 2015 (Liberty Stadium): Swansea 2-1 Manchester United

KEY STATS

  • Manchester United have won three of their last four Barclays Premier League home matches against Swansea City, though they did lose the most recent encounter
  • Bafetimbi Gomis has scored the winning goal in each of the last two league matches against Man Utd
  • United have found the back of the net in all 12 of their home league encounters with Swansea (25 goals in total), winning nine (D2 L1)
  • Swansea have won four of the last five meetings with Man Utd in all competitions, all by a 2-1 scoreline, including two of their last three visits to Old Trafford
  • Man Utd have now gone eight matches without victory in all competitions, their worst run since January 1990 (also eight). The last time that they went nine in a row without a win was in November 1988

TEAM NEWS

The Red Devils, seeking a first win in nine matches, are likely to be without Jesse Lingard (hamstring) for the game, while Luke Shaw (leg), Antonio Valencia (ankle) and Maros Rojo (shoulder) are definitely out.

Van Gaal is consequently not expected to make many changes from the Chelsea draw, whereas Swansea could welcome back Angel Rangel, Leon Britton, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Ki Sung-yueng and Andre Ayew to the starting line-up after making eight changes for the 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace.

Curtis has confirmed that Wayne Routledge (knock) should return to the squad, while Federico Fernandez (heel) could be fit to travel. Eder (ankle) is a doubt, while Franck Tabanou is unlikely to be involved despite recovering from a thigh problem.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Manchester United XI: De Gea; Young, Blind, Smalling, Darmian; Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger; Mata, Herrera, Martial; Rooney

Swansea XI: Fabianski; Naughton, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor; Shelvey, Ki, Sigurdsson; Ayew, Gomis, Barrow

PREDICTION: Manchester United WIN


WATFORD VS MANCHESTER CITY

LAST MEETING

August 29, 2015 (Etihad Stadium): Manchester City 2-0 Watford

KEY STATS

  • Watford and Manchester City have met 13 times in the league, with both sides racking up five victories
  • Manchester City are unbeaten against the Hornets in their last eight encounters across all competitions (W6 D2)
  • Odion Ighalo became the first Watford player to score in six successive top-flight matches when he netted in their last encounter with Tottenham Hotspur
  • Man City are winless in their last six league away matches (W0 D3 L3), their longest run without an away win since April 2011 (also six)
  • Ighalo ended 2015 as the top scoring player in the calendar year within the top four tiers of English football (30 goals)

TEAM NEWS

Vincent Kompany (calf) and Samir Nasri (hamstring) are City’s only absentees, with Fernando (hamstring) and Fabian Delph (knee) returning to bolster Pellegrini’s midfield options.

Nathan Ake is to start a three-match ban for Watford, while Joel Ekstrand (knee) remains sidelined.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Watford XI: Gomes; Anya, Cathcart, Britos, Holebas; Jurado, Capoue, Behrami, Abdi; Deeney, Ighalo

Manchester City XI: Hart; Sagna, Otamendi, Mangala, Kolarov; Toure, Fernandinho; De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling; Aguero

PREDICTION: DRAW


CRYSTAL PALACE VS CHELSEA

LAST MEETING

August 29, 2015 (Stamford Bridge): Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace

KEY STATS

  • Chelsea have won nine and lost just two of the 13 Barclays Premier League meetings with Crystal Palace
  • The last five BPL matches between these London rivals have all been won by a single goal margin, with three wins for Chelsea and two for Palace
  • On the last three occasions that Pardew has faced Chelsea in a Premier League home game as a manager his side have picked up the victory (Feb 2013, Nov 2013 & Dec 2014 whilst at Newcastle)
  • Guus Hiddink has lost just one of his 15 BPL matches as manager of Chelsea (W11 D3 L1), but this came in a London derby away from home (a 1-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur in March 2009)
  • Guus Hiddink has lost just one of his 15 BPL matches as manager of Chelsea (W11 D3 L1), but this came in a London derby away from home (a 1-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur in March 2009)

TEAM NEWS

Diego Costa will be back in Hiddink’s lineup after bagging a brace before earning a yellow card in a 2-2 Boxing Day draw against Watford. His five goals in 15 league matches are certainly a disappointment, but no teammate has more for the season than he scored against the Hornets. Costa will be the centre of the attack as Loic Remy (calf) and Radamel Falcao (thigh) are doubtful.

Alan Pardew has worries of his own, with Yannick Bolasie (hip/thigh), Connor Wickham (calf), Bakary Sako (hamstring) and Dwight Gayle (hamstring) all ruled out, as well as – looking beyond this match – Patrick Bamford’s disastrous loan spell from Chelsea being cut short.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Crystal Palace XI: Hennessey; Dann, Hangeland, Ward, Souare; Mutch, Jedinak, McArthur, Puncheon; Zaha, Chamakh

Chelsea XI: Courtois; Ivanovic, Terry, Azpilicueta, Zouma; Fabregas, Hazard, Willian, Oscar, Matic; Costa

PREDICTION: DRAW


EVERTON VS TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

LAST MEETING

August 29, 2015 (White Hart Lane): Tottenham 0-0 Everton

KEY STATS

  • Everton have won none of their last six Barclays Premier League meetings with Tottenham Hotspur (D3 L3)
  • Spurs have kept a clean sheet in four of their last five BPL encounters against the Toffees
  • Romelu Lukaku has scored 11 goals in his last 10 appearances for Everton (all competitions)
  • Ross Barkley has scored (six) or assisted (seven) 13 league goals in 2015/16, more than his previous four top-flight campaigns combined (10)
  • Harry Kane scored 27 BPL goals in 2015, more than any other player in the competition

TEAM NEWS

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has a number of injury worries heading into the new year. James McCarthy picked up a groin problem in the loss to Stoke and will miss out here, while Steven Pienaar, Bryan Oviedo, Tony Hibbert, Tyias Browning and Phil Jagielka remain out too. Tom Cleverley is a doubt and may have to settle for a place on the bench.

Tottenham will travel to Everton without Moussa Dembele, after the Belgian picked up an ankle knock in the win at Watford. Alex Pritchard and Clinton N’Jie are also sidelined through injury but those three are Mauricio Pochettino’s only worries heading to Merseyside.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Everton XI: Howard; Baines, Coleman, Funes Mori, Stones; Besic, Barkely, Barry, Deulofeu,; Lukaku, Kone

Spurs XI: Lloris; Vertonghen, Rose, Walker, Alderweireid; Dier, Alli, Eriksen, Lamela; Son, Kane

PREDICTION: DRAW


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