SUNDERLAND VS MANCHESTER UNITED
September 26, 2015 (Old Trafford): Manchester United 3-0 Sunderland
Man Utd: DWLWD
- Manchester United have won 21 and lost just two of their 29 Barclays Premier League matches against Sunderland
- Sunderland have never beaten Man Utd in the league at the Stadium of Light (D4 L9)
- Wayne Rooney has been involved in as many BPL goals during six matches in 2016 (five goals, three assists), as he had in 33 appearances in 2015 (six goals, two assists)
- Only Sergio Aguero (seven) has scored more top-flight goals in 2016 so far than Jermain Defoe (six) and Wayne Rooney (five)
- Sunderland have won just six of their previous 49 PL games in the month of February and have the worst points per game ratio in this month of all current PL clubs (0.63)
Adnan Januzaj (hamstring) and Guillermo Varela (knock) both suffered injuries in Man Utd’s 7-0 Barclays Under-21 Premier League victory over Norwich City on Monday, adding to a lengthy injury list, but Phil Jones (ankle) returned in that match.
Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce confirmed that Younes Kaboul (ankle), Sebastian Larsson (knee), Jeremain Lens (hernia) and Duncan Watmore (ankle) have all been ruled out. Billy Jones (hip) is also a doubt, but Fabio Borini should return from illness.
Sunderland XI: Mannone; Jones, O’Shea, Kone, Van Aanholt; Kirchhoff, Cattermole, M’Vila; Khazri, N’Doye, Defoe
Man Utd XI: De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson; Carrick, Fellaini; Lingard, Mata, Martial; Rooney
PREDICTION: Manchester United WIN
SWANSEA CITY VS SOUTHAMPTON
September 26, 2015 (St Marys’ Stadium): Southampton 3-1 Swansea
- Southampton have won four and lost just one of the seven Barclays Premier League matches against Swansea City
- Fraser Forster has kept five league clean sheets in a row in 2015/16 since coming back from injury and he has saved all 14 of the shots he has faced in the competition this season
- Forster’s clean sheet percentage is the best of any goalkeeper with 30 or more BPL appearances (51.4%), with 18 clean sheets from his 35 matches
- Gylfi Sigurdsson has scored five goals in his last six league outings for Swansea, the same number as he managed in his previous 33 appearances in the competition
- Five of the 13 goals scored from direct free kicks in the Pl this season have been in matches involving Swasnea City (38%)
Steven Davis (hamstring) and Matt Targett (ankle and foot) are back for the Saints but the visitors will be without Victor Wanyama, who starts a five-match ban following his third red card of the season received against West Ham, Florin Gardos (knee) and Jay Rodriguez (foot), although the latter is close to resuming full training.
Swansea XI: Fabianski; Rangel, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor; Cork, Britton, Sigurdsson, Routledge; Paloschi, Ayew
Southampton XI: Forster; Cedric, Van Dijk, Fonte, Bertrand; Clasie, Romeu, Mane, Long, Tadic; Pelle
AFC BOURNEMOUTH VS STOKE CITY
September 26, 2015 (Britannia Stadium): Stoke 2-1 Bournemouth
- None of the last 12 meetings between AFC Bournemouth and Stoke City in all competitions have ended as an away win (10 home wins, two draws)
- Stoke earned their first Barclays Premier League win of the season in the reverse fixture in September, beating Eddie Howe’s men 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium
- AFC Bournemouth have won just three of their 12 BPL matches at home (D4 L5), they have won four away from home in 2015/16
- Stoke have lost their last three top-flight matches. They have not lost four in a row in the league since February 2012
- Callum Wilson is still Bournemouth’s top scorer in the PL this season (5), yet he hasn’t played since the end of September
Stoke, who handed a contract extension to star forward Bojan Krkic on Thursday, should have their attack bolstered by the return of Jon Walters from a virus. Captain Ryan Shawcross (back) remains on the sidelines alongside fellow defenders Geoff Cameron (ankle) and Marc Wilson (knee) and midfielder Charlie Adam (calf).
Howe’s only absentees are long-term knee ligament injury trio Callum Wilson, Tyrone Mings and Max Gradel. Wilson suffered his injury in the reverse fixture that AFC Bournemouth lost 2-1 in September
Bournemouth XI: Boruc; Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels; Ritchie, Gosling, Arter, Pugh; King, Afobe
Stoke XI: Butland; Johnson, Muniesa, Wollscheid, Pieters; Imbula, Whelan; Shaqiri, Afellay, Arnautovic; Bojan
PREDICTION: Bournemouth WIN
CRYSTAL PALACE VS WATFORD
September 27, 2015 (Vicarage Road): Watford 0-1 Crystal Palace
- Crystal Palace have won seven and lost just one of the last 10 meetings with Watford in all competitions
- Only Jamie Vardy (eight) has scored the opening goal of a Barclays Premier League match more often than Odion Ighalo (six) this season
- Watford (seven) and Crystal Palace (nine) have conceded the fewest goals in the first half of BPL matches this term
- Palace have scored a league-high eight goals from defenders in 2015/16, but have the lowest tally of goals from strikers (one)
- Wilfried Zaha is the only player to be booked more than once for simulation in the PL this season (2)
Palace have Connor Wickham back from suspension and Dwight Gayle (hamstring) should be available after two months out. Yannick Bolasie and Bakary Sako are also a week away from returning.
Watford’s main injury concern is defender Miguel Britos (dead leg). He will be assessed ahead of kick-off.
Palace XI: Hennessey; Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare; Mutch, Jedinak, Zaha, Cabaye, Lee; Adebayor
Watford XI: Gomes; Nyom, Cathcart, Britos, Ake; Suarez, Watson, Capoue, Jurado; Deeney, Ighalo
EVERTON VS WEST BROMWICH ALBION
September 28, 2015 (The Hawthorns): West Brom 2-3 Everton
West Brom: DLDDL
- Everton have won five and lost just one of their last nine Barclays Premier League matches against West Bromwich Albion
- Romelu Lukaku, who scored 17 goals in 35 BPL appearances for West Brom in 2012/13, has netted three goals in his last three league outings against his former team
- Joel Robles has kept a clean sheet in his last five consecutive league matches for Everton
- No side has scored more first half goals in the BPL this term than Everton (23 – level with Tottenham Hotspur)
- West Bromwich Albion have scored just one goal in the opening 15 minute in their last 30 PL matches
Everton boss Roberto Martinez will give John Stones [hamstring] and Tim Howard [knee] as much time as possible to prove their fitness for West Brom’s visit, while January signing Oumar Niasse could make his debut.
While Berahino could feature for the Baggies this weekend, the match will come too soon for Chris Brunt (calf), Jonny Evans (hamstring), Callum McManaman (foot) and James Morrison (hamstring). Gareth McAuley is in doubt after limping off after 19 minutes against Peterborough with a hamstring problem.
Everton XI: Robles; Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Funes Mori, Baines; McCarthy, Barry; Lennon, Barkley, Cleverley; Lukaku
West Brom XI: Foster; Dawson, Chester, Olsson, Pocognoli; Yacob, Sandro; Sessegnon, Fletcher, McClean; Anichebe
PREDICTION: Everton WIN
NORWICH CITY VS WEST HAM UNITED
September 26, 2015 (Boleyn Ground): West Ham 2-2 Norwich
West Ham: WLDWL
- None of the last 13 league meetings between West Ham United and Norwich City have ended with an away win (six home wins, seven draws)
- West Ham have won none of their last 16 league visits to Carrow Road (D7 L9)
- Robbie Brady has scored in two of his three Barclays Premier League appearances against West Ham
- There has been a 90th minute goal in all of the last four BPL encounters between the Canaries and the Hammers
- West Ham have made a league high 10 errors leading to goals in the PL this season
The hosts will be nearing full strength, with Graham Dorrans a doubt after illness and Alexander Tettey suspended, but West Ham have more injury problems.
James Tomkins joined Winston Reid (hamstring), Joey O’Brien (hamstring), Carl Jenkinson (knee), Cheikhou Kouyate (head), Manuel Lanzini (groin) and Diafra Sakho (thigh) on the sidelines after their win over Liverpool. The defender is ruled out for five weeks with a calf injury.
Norwich XI: Rudd; Martin, Klose, Bassong, Brady; Howson, Mulumbu, O’Neil, Hoolahan; Naismith; Mbokani
West Ham XI: Adrian; Byram, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Noble, Song; Antonio, Moses, Payet; Carroll
PREDICTION: West Ham WIN
CHELSEA VS NEWCASTLE UNITED
September 26, 2015 (St James’ Park): Newcastle 2-2 Chelsea
- Newcastle United have taken more points off Chelsea (13) than any other team in the last five seasons
- In the last 11 meetings between Chelsea and Newcastle, the Blues have failed to win when they did not keep a clean sheet (D3 L4)
- Guus Hiddink has still only lost one of his 21 matches as a Barclays Premier League manager (W13 D7 L1) and is unbeaten in his last 16
- The Blues are on the current longest unbeaten run in the BPL, nine matches (W3 D6 L0)
- Newcastle have only won back-to-back PL games on one occasion since November 29th 2014 (this was a two-game winning run in December 2015)
For Newcastle, Jack Colback could return to action following a hamstring complaint.
Radamel Falcao (groin) and Loic Remy (calf) are expected to remain out for Chelsea, but fellow striker Diego Costa is aiming to maintain a hot streak of seven goals in his past nine matches that was prolonged by his last-gasp leveler versus Manchester United.
Chelsea XI: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Mikel, Fabregas, Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Costa
Newcastle XI: Elliot; Janmaat, Taylor, Coloccini, Aarons; Shelvey, Colback, Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Townsend; Mitrovic
PREDICTION: Chelsea WIN
ARSENAL VS LEICESTER CITY
September 26, 2015 (King Power Stadium): Leicester 2-5 Arsrenal
- Arsenal have won 12 and lost none of the last 18 Barclays Premier League matches against Leicester City
- The Gunners have earned victory in their last eight home top-flight meetings with Leicester
- Three of the four players to have had a hand in 20+ goals in the BPL this season will play in this match – Riyad Mahrez (24), Jamie Vardy (21) and Mesut Ozil (20)
- Leicester have named an unchanged starting XI in their last five league matches. The last team to name the same starting XI in six successive BPL matches was Arsenal in May 2015
- Theo Walcott has scored in both of his PL appearances against Leicester City
Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey and Francis Coquelin have all returned in recent weeks and Wenger will have the same squad available as he has done for the past few games.
Injuries have been kind to Leicester this season and Claudio Ranieri will have his usual squad of players to pick from.
Arsenal XI: Cech; Bellerin, Paulista, Koscielny, Monreal; Ramsey, Coquelin, Campbell, Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud
Leicester XI: Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs; Mahrez, Kante, Drinkwater, Albrighton; Okazaki, Vardy
ASTON VILLA VS LIVERPOOL
September 26, 2015 (Anfield): Liverpool 3-2 Villa
- Liverpool have won four of the last six Barclays Premier League meetings with Aston Villa and all of their last four visits to Villa Park
- In fact, the Reds have won 11 and lost just one of their last 17 BPL trips to Villa Park
- Christian Benteke scored five goals in six appearances in all competitions against Liverpool for Aston Villa before moving to Merseyside last summer
- Aston Villa are unbeaten in their last four league matches at Villa Park (W2 D2 L0). They have not gone five unbeaten at home in the competition since 1 January 2015
- A league-high 70% (14 of 20) of Aston Villa’s goals in the PL this season have come in the second half
Villa’s Libor Kozak (ankle), Alan Hutton, Adama Traore (both hamstring) and Jordan Amavi (knee) are all unavailable coming into this one but Carlos Sanchez Rude Gestede could be available.
For Klopp’s side, Martin Skrtel, Joe Allen, Jordan Rossiter, Danny Ings and Joe Gomez remain some way off making a comeback but more positively, Daniel Sturridge could make a return from injury on Sunday.
Villa XI: Bunn; Richards, Okore, Lescott, Cissokho; Bacuna, Gueye, Westwood; Gil, Agbonlahor, Veretout
Liverpool XI: Mignolet; Flanagan, Ilori, Lucas, Smith; Chirivella, Stewart, Teixeira; Ibe, Benteke, Coutinho
PREDICTION: Liverpool WIN
MANCHESTER CITY VS TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
September 26, 2015 (White Hart Lane): Tottenham 4-1 Manchester City
Manchester City: DWDWL
- The last nine Barclays Premier League matches between these two sides have seen 41 goals scored
- Manchester City have won eight and lost two of the last 10 league meetings with Tottenham Hotspur, including victories in the last five encounters at the Etihad Stadium
- Man City have not beaten any side currently in the top six of the BPL table this season (W0 D3 L4)
- Sergio Aguero has scored 10 goals in eight top-flight appearances against Spurs
- Dele Alli has had a hand in 11 goals in his last 14 PL games for Spurs (six goals, five assists)
City have been dealt a severe blow in their first team candidates, with Samir Nasri (hamstring), David Silva (ankle), Kevin De Bruyne (knee), Jesus Navas (hamstring), Wilfried Bony (calf) and Eliaquim Mangala (hamstring) all out of contention. However, Captain Vincent Kompany will be available for selection after recovering from his extended layoff with a nagging calf injury.
As for Spurs, Jan Vertonghen (knee) and Clinton N’Jie (knee) are the only absentees for Sunday’s clash
Man City XI: Hart, Kolarov, Kompany, Otamendi, Sagna; Fernandinho, Toure, Fernando; Delph; Aguero, Sterling
Spurs XI: Lloris; Davies, Wimmer, Alderweireld, Trippier; Dembele, Chadli, Dier; Lamela, Eriksen; Kane
PREDICTION: Spurs WIN