NORWICH VS MANCHESTER UNITED
December 19, 2015 (Old Trafford): Man Utd 1-2 Norwich
Man Utd: WLWWD
- Norwich City have won just one of their last seven Barclays Premier League matches at Carrow Road (W1 D2 L4)
- Manchester United have never lost home and away to a promoted side in the same BPL season. Norwich won at Old Trafford back in December
- The Canaries have lost five of their previous seven home league encounters with Man Utd, winning the other two in April 2005 and November 2012
- Juan Mata has scored more top-flight goals against Norwich than any other opponent (four)
- The Canaries have given away nine penalties and conceded eight penalty goals this season, both Premier League-highs
Van Gaal will be without Marouane Fellaini for the rest of the league campaign after the Belgium international received a retrospective three-match ban for his on-field clash with Leicester City’s Robert Huth during last weekend’s 1-1 draw. Luke Shaw and Bastian Schweinsteiger still remain unavailable through injury.
For Norwich, defenders Timm Klose and Andre Wisdom are still out with knee injuries and will sit this one out.
Norwich XI: Ruddy; Pinto, Martin, Bassong, Olsson; Redmond, Howson, O’Neil, Brady; Naismith, Mbokani
Man Utd XI: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Blind, Rojo; Carrick, Schneiderlin; Lingard, Rooney, Martial; Rashford
Prediction: Norwich 0-1 Manchester United
ASTON VILLA VS NEWCASTLE UNITED
December 19, 2015 (St. James’ Park): Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa
Aston Villa: LLLLL
- Newcastle are undefeated in their last nine Barclays Premier League matches against Aston Villa (W5 D4 L0)
- Only four goals have been scored in the last four BPL meetings between these sides
- Newcastle (W2 D2) have gone four games unbeaten in the League for the first time since October-November 2014
- Aston Villa will hope to avoid a new club record for the longest run of league defeats, having also recorded 11 successive losses in 1963
- Andros Townsend has scored more Premier League goals for Newcastle in just 11 appearances for the club (4) than he managed for Tottenham in 50 games (3)
Kieran Richardson (calf) is a doubt for Villa, who also have Aly Cissokho suspended after his red card against Watford. Gabriel Agbonlahor, who stepped down as captain last week, is unlikely to return.
Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez hopes to have Vurnon Anita back from a muscle problem, but Daryl Janmaat (wrist) and Fabricio Coloccini (calf) are expected to miss out. Yoan Gouffran could be available after a muscle injury.
Aston Villa XI: Bunn; Hutton, Richards, Clark, Lescott; Grealish, Veretout, Westwood, Gueye; Ayew, Gestede
Newcastle XI: Darlow; Anita, Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett; Townsend, Tiote, Colback, Sissoko; Wijnaldum; Mitrovic
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-3 Newcastle
AFC BOURNEMOUTH VS WEST BROMWICH ALBION
December 19, 2015 (The Hawthorns): West Brom 1-2 Bournemouth
West Brom: LLLDL
- AFC Bournemouth and West Bromwich Albion have faced each other 11 times in league action, winning four times each
- West Brom prevailed 1-0 on their last league visit to Bournemouth, in the third tier back in January 1993. It is their only win away at the Cherries (D1 L3)
- Bournemouth have lost their last three Barclays Premier League matches on home soil, conceding 10 goals along the way
- The Baggies have secured one win in their most recent 13 BPL road trips (W1 D6 L6)
- No Premier League side has scored more goals in the opening 15 minutes this season than Bournemouth (9, level with Man City)
Gradel (leg) is a concern for the Cherries, while James Morrison (hamstring) hopes to return from a four-month lay-off to feature for the visitors.
Bournemouth XI: Boruc; Daniels, Elphick, Cook, Francis; Pugh, Arter, Surman, Ritchie; King, Wilson
West Brom XI: Foster; Evans, McAuley, Olsson, Dawson; Yacob, Fletcher; McClean, Sessegnon, Leko; Rondon
Prediction: Bournemouth 1-1 West Brom
CRYSTAL PALACE VS STOKE CITY
January 30, 2016 (Selhurst Park): Crytsal Palace 1-0 Stoke
Crystal Palace: WDDLL
- Crystal Palace are five matches unbeaten in all competitions against Stoke City (W4 D1 L0)
- There have been three penalties scored in the last two Barclays Premier League meetings between these sides
- Crystal Palace have clinched victory once in their previous nine BPL matches at Selhurst Park (W1 D2 L6)
- The Eagles have scored just six goals in their last 10 League games on home soil
- Stoke are now without a win in five top-flight games (D2 L3), their worst run since the start of the season (six without victory)
Full-back Glen Johnson is back in training following a long-term knee injury lay-off but the match comes too soon for him, while Hughes is hopeful forward Bojan Krkic will recover from foot problem.
For the hosts, Wilfried Zaha is ruled out with a muscle strain and fellow winger Yannick Bolasie is ill, with the winger set to be assessed ahead of the match. Palace also revealed that captain Mile Jedinak is doubtful for Saturday’s match due to a knock.
Crystal Palace XI: Hennessey; Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souaré; Jedinak, Ledley; McArthur, Sako, Puncheon; Wickham
Stoke City XI: Haugaard; Bardsley, Shawcross, Cameron, Pieters; Whelan, Imbula; Shaqiri, Adam, Arnautovic; Crouch
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-2 Stoke
SUNDERLAND VS CHELSEA
December 19, 2015 (Stamford Bridge): Chelsea 3-1 Sunderland
- Sunderland last defeated Chelsea at home in the Barclays Premier League back in October 2000
- Chelsea have won 19 and lost just two of their last 22 BPL contests with Sunderland
- Cesc Fabregas has scored four BPL goals against Sunderland, his joint-best haul against any opponent (along with Everton)
- Former Blues forward Fabio Borini has scored in two of his three league appearances against Chelsea for current club Sunderland
- A league-high 19 different players have scored for Chelsea in the Premier League this season
Guus Hiddink has no new injury worries ahead of the fixture, with only Loic Remy (groin) and Kurt Zouma (knee) sidelined.
The Black Cats have a clean bill of health.
Sunderland XI: Mannone; Yedlin, Kone, Kaboul, Van Aanholt; Kirchhoff, Cattermole, M’Vila,; Borini, Khazri; Defoe
Chelsea XI: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Mikel, Fabregas; Willian, Hazard, Pedro; Costa
Prediction: Sunderland 1-0 Chelsea
WEST HAM UNITED VS SWANSEA CITY
December 20, 2015 (Liberty Stadium): Swansea 0-0 West Ham
West Ham: DDDWW
- West Ham are undefeated (W3 D3 L0) in their last six Barclays Premier League games against Swansea
- Swansea haven’t won an away league game against the Hammers since August 1956 (D1 L7)
- The Hammers have already achieved their highest points tally in a BPL season (59), already beating their previous best of 57 in 1998-99
- Only one team has stopped West Ham from finding the net at Upton Park in the last 21 BPL home matches
- Gylfi Sigurdsson has had a hand in 41Premeir League goals for Swansea overall (25 goals, 16 assists), 10 more than any Swans player (Wilfried Bony is next on 31)
Guidolin is set to rest captain Ashley Williams for their last two matches ahead of Wales’ UEFA Euro 2016 campaign, while the Italian said Neil Taylor and Gylfi Sigurdsson are out as they require treatment.
West Ham have no new reported injuries.
West Ham XI: Randolph; Antonio, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Payet, Noble, Kouyate, Lanzini; Sakho, Carroll
Swansea XI: Fabianski; Rangel, Amat, Fernandez, Naughton; Britton, Cork; Routledge, Ki, Ayew; Gomis
Prediction: West Ham 2-1 Swansea
LEICESTER CITY VS EVERTON
December 19, 2015 (Goodison Park): Everton 2-3 Leicester
- The last five matches between these two sides on Leicester’s home ground have all been draws
- Everton have lost just once in the last 12 Barclays Premier League contests with Leicester, but this was the reverse meeting in December (W2 D9 L1)
- 68 per cent of BPL matches between Leicester City and Everton have been draws, the highest ratio of any fixture in the history of the competition that has been played more than 10 times
- The champions are unbeaten in the past 14 league matches at the King Power Stadium (W9 D5 L0)
- Only Ipswich (1957-1962) have won each of the top three tiers in a shorter space of time than Leicester City (2009-2016)
Leicester will welcome back Jamie Vardy from suspension, but will be without Danny Drinkwater following his red card against Manchester United, while Robert Huth has been handed a three-match ban for an altercation with Marouane Fellaini last weekend. Matty James could make his first appearance of the season after returning to training following a serious knee injury.
Gerard Deulofeu (knee) is out for Everton, with Phil Jagielka (hamstring) unlikely to feature, but Gareth Barry (groin) and Seamus Coleman (hamstring) could return.
Leicester XI: Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs; Mahrez, Kante, King, Albrighton; Vardy, Okazaki
Everton XI: Robles; Coleman, Pennington, Stones, Baines; Gibson, McCarthy; Lennon, Barkley, Cleverley; Lukaku
Prediction: Leicester 3-1 Everton
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR VS SOUTHAMPTON
December 19, 2015 (St. Mary’s Stadium): Southampton 0-2 Tottenham
- Tottenham Hotspur have won six of their last seven Barclays Premier League meetings with Southampton (W6 D1 L0)
- The Saints have lost just two of their previous eight BPL away games (W4 D2 L2)
- Spurs striker Harry Kane has scored 14 goals in his last 15 BPL appearances
- Ronald Koeman’s side have collected 33 points in 2016, only behind the current top two in the standings (Leicester 38 and Spurs 35)
- Only Darren Anderton (14 in 94/95) has provided more assists in a single Premier League games for Tottenham than Christian Eriksen has this campaign (13)
Dembele is set to miss the meeting due to suspension, along with fellow midfielder Dele Alli, while Pochettino has concerns over full-back Danny Rose (hamstring) and centre-back Toby Alderweireld (knee). Koeman, however, expects to have a full squad to choose from.
Tottenham XI: Lloris; Walker, Wimmer, Vertonghen, Rose; Dier, Dembélé; Son, Eriksen, Lamela; Kane
Southampton XI: Forster; Martina, Fonte, van Dijk, Bertrand; Wanyama, Clasie; Mane, Davis, Tadic; Long
Prediction: Tottenham 2-2 Southampton
LIVERPOOL VS WATFORD
December 20, 2015 (Vicarage Road): Watford 3-0 Liverpool
- The reverse fixture in December (3-0) saw Liverpool’s biggest defeat against a newly promoted side since November 1993 (vs Newcastle)
- Watford’s only win in any competition at Anfield came in August 1999, with a 1-0 BPL victory
- Liverpool have lost just one of their last 11 home League matches (W5 D5 L1)
- The Hornets have scored only four goals in their last eight BPL away meetings
- Daniel Sturridge has scored in six of his last eight Premier League appearances for Liverpool (six goals in total)
Klopp confirmed captain Jordan Henderson and striker Divock Origi are progressing well from their respective knee and ankle injuries but the duo are unlikely to be risked along with long-term knee victim Danny Ings, who is also back in training.
Quique Sanchez Flores remains without midfield duo Valon Behrami (rib) and Etienne Capoue (knee) ahead of this fixture
Liverpool XI: Ward; Clyne, Skrtel, Lovren, Smith; Ojo, Chirivella, Stewart, Ibe; Coutinho; Sturridge
Watford XI: Gomes; Paredes, Cathcart, Britos, Anya; Abdi, Suarez, Watson, Jurado; Deeney, Ighalo
Prediction: Liverpool 2-0 Watford
MANCHESTER CITY VS ARSENAL
December 21, 2015 (Emirates Stadium): Arsenal 2-1 Man City
Man City: WWDWL
- Manchester City have lost 23 Barclays Premier League matches facing Arsenal, more than against any other side
- The Gunners are unbeaten in their last four BPL meetings with City, winning the last two (W2 D2)
- Theo Walcott has scored three goals in his last two BPL appearances against Manuel Pellegrini’s side
- Arsenal have kept three clean sheets in a row in the top-flight, last managing four successive BPL clean sheets in May 2014
- Kelechi Iheanacho’s 86.9 minutes per goal ratio is the best in Premier League history for any player to score three or more goals
Captain Vincent Kompany suffered the fifth setback of his injury-plagued campaign at the Santiago Bernabeu and he joins playmaker David Silva (hamstring) and full-backs Pablo Zabaleta (calf) and Aleksandar Kolarov (knock) on the sidelines.
Wenger will be without Per Mertesacker and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the rest of the season due to respective hamstring and knee injuries. England midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain will also miss UEFA Euro 2016. Santi Cazorla, a star performer in Arsenal’s 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium last season, may return after his five-month knee injury lay-off, while fellow midfielder Jack Wilshere will hope for more action having been an unused substitute in the 1-0 win over Norwich City.
Man City XI: Hart; Zabaleta, Otamendi, Mangala, Kolarov; Nasri, Fernandinho, Fernando, Sterling; Aguero, Iheanacho
Arsenal XI: Cech; Bellerín, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal; Elneny, Ramsey; Sanchez, Ozil, Iwobi; Welbeck
Prediction: Man City 2-2 Arsenal