#WeekendPreview: Matchday 25

MANCHESTER CITY VS LEICESTER CITY

LAST MEETING

December 29, 2015 (King Power Stadium)

FORM

Man City: WDWDW

Leicester: DWDWW

KEY STATS

  • On the day of this match, Leicester City will have spent 47 days on top of the Barclays Premier League in 2015/16 – only opponents Manchester City have spent longer in first place this season (100 days)
  • Man City have won the most points at home this season in the Barclays Premier League (28), while Leicester have won the most away from home (25)
  • The Citizens have won 16 of the last 19 Barclays Premier League matches at Etihad Stadium (W16 D1 L2)
  • Leicester have lost only one of their last 15 Barclays Premier League away encounters (W9 D5 L1)
  • Sergio Aguero has scored 12 goals in his last 10 PL appearances for Manchester City

TEAM NEWS

Man City could welcome back Fabian Delph (calf) and Eliaquim Mangala (hamstring) from injury, while Daniel Amartey could make his debut for Leicester.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Man City XI: Hart; Sagna, Otamendi, Demichelis, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Fernando; Silva, Toure, Sterling; Aguero

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

PREDICTION: Manchester City WIN


SWANSEA CITY VS CRYSTAL PALACE

LAST MEETING

December 28, 2015 (Selhurst Park): Crystal Palace 0-0 Swansea

FORM

Swansea: LLWWD

Crystal Palace: LLLLL

KEY STATS

  • Swansea City have kept three clean sheets in their last four Barclays Premier League fixtures at Liberty Stadium
  • The Swans have netted 57% of their goals in the first half of matches this season, the highest proportion in the top flight
  • Crystal Palace are the only team in the top four tiers of English football yet to register a single point in 2016
  • Emmanuel Adebayor has scored on his first Barclays Premier League start for all three of his previous clubs (Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur)
  • Swansea are unbeaten in three PL games (W2 D1); they haven’t gone four games without a defeat in a row since their opening four games of the season

TEAM NEWS

Swansea could hand a full debut to new striker Alberto Paloschi, while Leroy Fer, on loan from Queens Park Rangers, could also feature in the absence of Ki Sung-yueng, who is sidelined with concussion.

Palace were dealt a blow this week when James McArthur (ankle) and Jason Puncheon (hamstring) were ruled out for “a long period”, although Yohan Cabaye (ankle) is expected to be fit.

Emmanuel Adebayor is not yet ready is not yet ready to start for Palace, but could well make another appearance from the bench this weekend.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Swansea XI: Fabianski; Rangel, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor; Britton, Fer, Cork; Sigurdsson, Paloschi, Ayew

Palace XI: Hennessey; Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare; Cabaye, Jedinak; Zaha, Mutch, Lee; Adebayor

PREDICTION: Swansea WIN


STOKE CITY VS EVERTON

LAST MEETING

December 28, 2015 (Goodison Park): Everton 3-4 Stoke

FORM

Stoke: LWDLL

Everton: DDDLW

KEY STATS

  • The last goal of the match in three of the last four Barclays Premier League meetings between Stoke City and Everton has been a penalty and on all three occasions changed the result
  • Peter Crouch could make his 400th Premier League appearance in this match and will become the 25th different Englishman to reach this landmark
  • Stoke have won five and lost just two of their last nine Barclays Premier League fixtures at home (W5 D2 L2)
  • Everton have lost only one of their last 12 Barclays Premier League away matches, but seven of these have ended in a draw (W4 D7 L1)
  • Ross Barkley has now scored eight league goals this season, more than he has managed in any PL campaign in his career

TEAM NEWS

Philipp Wollscheid (calf), Ryan Shawcross (back), Geoff Cameron (ankle) could all be absent for the hosts, while long-term knee injury victim Marc Wilson and Charlie Adam (calf) are certain to miss out.

Everton are not without fitness problems of their own, as they wait on the availability of striker Romelu Lukaku (knock) and defender John Stones (hamstring). Joel Robles could deputise again for goalkeeper Tim Howard, who missed the Newcastle match with a knee problem.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Stoke XI: Butland; Pieters, Muniesa, Bardsley,Johnson; Afellay, Walters, Whelan; Arnautovic, Bojan; Joselu

Everton XI: Robles; Oviedo, Funes Mori, Jagielka, Coleman; Lennon, Barry, McCarthy;Cleverley, Barkely; Lukaku

PREDICTION: DRAW


ASTON VILLA VS NORWICH CITY

LAST MEETING

December 28, 2015 (Carrow Road): Norwich 2-0 Aston Villa

FORM

Aston Villa: LWDDL

Norwich City: WLLLL

KEY STATS

  • Aston Villa are unbeaten in their last six competitive home fixtures against Norwich City (W3 D3) and defeated them 4-1 at Villa Park in their last meeting there
  • Norwich will be looking to win both home and away in a single Barclays Premier League season against Aston Villa for the first time since 1992/93
  • Remi Garde’s side have claimed just seven points at home this season, at least five fewer than any other side in the Barclays Premier League
  • The Canaries have won only one of their last 11 Barclays Premier League away matches (W1 D2 L8)
  • Robbie Brady has created more chances than any other Norwich player this season (33) but has only assisted one goal

TEAM NEWS

Norwich travel to Villa Park with a clean bill of health, but the same cannot be said of the home side. Ashley Westwood (calf), Libor Kozak (knock), Alan Hutton, Carlos Sanchez and Rudy Gestede (all hamstring) missed the defeat at West Ham, with Garde unsure if any will return on Saturday.

Gary O’Neil is available again for Norwich after serving a three-match ban but Alexander Tettey is suspended after receiving his 10th booking of the season, while Graham Dorrans and Robbie Brady missed that match through illness, but could return.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Villa XI: Bunn; Richards, Okore, Lescott, Cissokho; Bacuna, Gueye, Gil, Veretout; Agbonlahor, Sinclair

Norwich XI: Rudd; Ivo Pinto, Klose, Bassong, Brady; Howson, Hoolahan, Mulumbu, Redmond; Naismith; Mbokani

PREDICTION: Aston Villa WIN


LIVERPOOL VS SUNDERLAND

LAST MEETING

December 30, 2015 (Stadium of Light): Sunderland 0-1 Liverpool

FORM

Liverpool: LDLWL

Sunderland: WWLDL

KEY STATS

  • Liverpool have won five of their last six Barclays Premier League meetings with Sunderland, drawing the other in this run
  • James Milner has scored five Barclays Premier League goals against Sunderland, more than versus any other opponent in the competition
  • Sam Allardyce’s men have scored in each of their last seven Barclays Premier League away matches; their best run in the competition since April 2013
  • Sunderland have the worst points per match average of any current Barclays Premier League side in the month of February (0.63)
  • Liverpool averaged more points under Brendan Rodgers in the PL this season (1.5) than they have under Jurgen Klopp (1.4)

TEAM NEWS

Daniel Sturridge’s return to training this week serves as a timely boost for the club, even though he remains short of match fitness. Philippe Coutinho (hamstring), Divock Origi (knee) and Martin Skrtel (hamstring) were all due to resume training this week and have a slight chance of making returns to Klopp’s side.

Yann M’Vila (foot) is a slight doubt and Sebastian Larsson (knee) remains sidelined, but Allardyce was buoyed by his new recruits in midweek.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Liverpool XI: Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno; Can, Lucas, Henderson; Milner, Firmino, Lallana

Sunderland XI: Mannone; Jones, Kone, O’Shea, Van Aanholt; Khazri, M’Vila, Kirchhoff, Cattermole, Borini; Defoe

PREDICTION: Liverpool WIN


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR VS WATFORD

LAST MEETING

December 28, 2015 (Vicarage Road): Watford 1-2 Tottenham

FORM

Tottenham: DLWWW

Watford: LLLWD

KEY STATS

  • Tottenham Hotspur have lost just four of their last 25 Barclays Premier League matches at White Hart Lane (W14 D7 L4), but two of these have come since the start of December
  • Watford have recovered just two points from losing positions this season, which is fewer than any other side
  • Spurs have recovered more points than any other team in the Barclays Premier League from losing positions this season (14)
  • The Hornets have not won any of their last eight meetings with Spurs in all competitions (W0 D2 L6)
  • Mauricio Pochettino’s side have allowed fewer shots on target against them in 2016 than any other team in the Premier League (13 in five games)

TEAM NEWS

Both teams have relatively few injury problems to contend with. Miguel Britos missed Watford’s last match due to illness but could return, while Ryan Mason is nearing a Spurs comeback after being sidelined since November with an ankle problem. Clinton N’Jie is not due to recover fully from a knee issue until March.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Spurs XI: Lloris; Walker, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Davies; Dembele, Dier; Chadli, Eriksen, Alli; Kane

Watford XI: Gomes; Holebas, Cathcart, Prodl, Nyom; Behrami, Watson, Capoue; Jurado; Ighalo, Denney

PREDICTION: Spurs WIN


NEWCASTLE UNITED VS WEST BROMWICH ALBION

LAST MEETING

December 28, 2015 (The Hawthorns): West brom 1-0 Newcastle

FORM

Newcastle: LDWLL

West Brom: WDLDD

KEY STATS

  • Newcastle United have gone nine Barclays Premier League encounters without a clean sheet (9), only North East rivals Sunderland are on a longer wait for a shutout than them in the top-flight (10 matches)
  • Georginio Wijnaldum has scored nine goals and assisted one more in 12 Barclays Premier League appearances at St James’ Park
  • West Bromwich Albion have had more possession than their opponent in just three of their 24 Barclays Premier League fixtures so far this season, but one of these was against Newcastle
  • Victor Anichebe has netted five Barclays Premier League goals against Newcastle, more than against any other team in the competition
  • West Brom have scored 39% of their goals from headers this season, a PL high proportion

TEAM NEWS

Newcastle boss Steven McClaren lost Chancel Mbemba and Paul Dummett to injury at Everton, while Jamaal Lascelles was sent off, leaving the Magpies short of defensive options coming into this fixture.

Tony Pulis faces his own defensive headache after Jonny Evans picked up a hamstring injury in the draw with Swansea, with Sebastien Pocognoli among the contenders to step in.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Newcastle XI: Elliot; Taylor, Mbabu, Coloccini, Janmaat; Sissoko, Shelvey, Saviet; Townsend, Wijnaldum; Mitrovic

West Brom XI: Foster; Evans, Olsson, McAuley, Dawson; Sessegnon, Sandro, Yacob; McClean, Fletcher; Rondon

PREDICTION: Newcastle WIN


SOUTHAMPTON VS WEST HAM UNITED

LAST MEETING

December 28, 2015 (Boleyn Ground): West Ham 2-1 Southampton

FORM

Southampton: LWWWD

West Ham: WWLDW

KEY STATS

  • The last four Barclays Premier League fixtures between Southampton and West Ham United at St Mary’s Stadium have ended as draws
  • Southampton have won only one of the last eight Barclays Premier League meetings with West Ham (W1 D4 L3)
  • Fraser Forster has saved all 12 shots that he’s faced in his four Barclays Premier League appearances since his comeback from injury and is yet to concede a goal in these matches
  • West Ham have not won both home and away against Southampton in the same league season since 2000/01
  • The Hammers have lost one of their last 11 PL games (W4 D6 L1)

TEAM NEWS

Bilic could welcome back Andy Carroll from a hamstring injury and hand new striker Emmanuel Emenike a debut but remains without Diafra Sakho (thigh) and Manuel Lanzini (groin).

Charlie Austin, the Southampton striker bought from Queens Park Rangers in January, is set to return from a minor knock after marking his Saints debut with the winner against Manchester United and Bilic rates the player.

PREDICTION LINEUPS

Southampton XI: Forster; Cedric, Fonte, Van Dijk, Bertrand; Ward-Prowse, Wanyama, Clasie; Tadic, Austin, Mane

West Ham XI: Adrian; Tomkins, Reid, Collins, Cresswell; Song, Kouyate, Noble; Antonio, Payet; Valencia

PREDICTION: West Ham WIN


AFC BOURNEMOUTH VS ARSENAL

LAST MEETING

December 28, 2015 (Emirates Stadium): Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth

FORM

Bournemouth: DLWDW

Arsenal: WDDLD

KEY STATS

  • AFC Bournemouth have only played Arsenal twice before losing both meetings and failing to score in either (conceding five)
  • Eddie Howe’s side have scored a league-high tally (8) and proportion (28%) of their goals in the opening 15 minutes of matches this season
  • Arsenal have won only one of their last six Barclays Premier League away fixtures (W1 D3 L2)
  • The Gunners have not gone five Barclays Premier League encounters without a win since August 2011
  • Former Arsenal striker Benik Afobe has scored in each of his last three PL appearances for Bournemouth

TEAM NEWS

Howe will make a late call on winger Junior Stanislas (knee), while Arsenal are without Thomas Rosicky. The midfielder has picked up a thigh injury which is set to keep him sidelined for three months. Danny Welbeck returned to action for Arsenal’s Under-21 side on Friday but will not be risked at the Vitality Stadium.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

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

Arsenal XI: Cech; Monreal, Koscielny, Paulista, Bellerin; Campbell, Ramsey, Coquelin; Sanchez, Ozil; Giroud

PREDICTION: Arsenal WIN


CHELSEA VS MANCHESTER UNITED

LAST MEETING

December 28, 2015 (Old Trafford): Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea

FORM

Chelsea: WDDWD

United: WDWLW

KEY STATS

  • Chelsea are unbeaten in their last six Barclays Premier League meetings with Manchester United (W3 D3)
  • United have lost more often to Chelsea than any other opponent in the Barclays Premier League era (16 times)
  • Man Utd have won only one of their last 13 Barclays Premier League trips to Stamford Bridge (W1 D4 L8)
  • Guus Hiddink is unbeaten in his last five competitive contests with Dutch compatriot Louis Van Gaal, winning four and drawing one
  • Juan Mata has gone 12 games without registering a goal or assist, his longest spell without a goal involvement in his PL career

TEAM NEWS

Chelsea’s only injury concerns are for their attacking players as Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao remain out, while new signing Alexandre Pato is not yet match fit. Eden Hazard will hope to start after having to settle for a place on the bench on Wednesday night.

Manchester United are still sweating over the fitness of Phil Jones and Bastian Schweinsteiger and are unlikely to be involved, though Louis Van Gaal could name an unchanged side to the team that beat Stoke 3-0 on Tuesday. Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young remain out.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Chelsea XI: Courtois; Ivanovic, Terry, Zouma, Azpiliceuta; Mikel, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Hazard; Costa

Man Utd XI: De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson; Schneiderlin, Carrick; Martial, Mata, Lingard; Rooney

PREDICTION: DRAW


 

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