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Arsenal & Villa to continue their march as West Brom slump again

This
section will provide you with all the information you require in the build-up
to all of Saturday's Premier League encounters. It is your one-stop-shop to
whet your appetite for a weekend of fantastic football. 

 

 

Stoke
City v Manchester City

 

Britannia
Stadium – K.O. 12:45 – WATCH LIVE: Sky Sports 1
 

 

BUILD-UP:

Tony Pulis
has claimed that his side's recent form has not dented morale, but with no win
in nine that is hard to believe. They have lost five of the last six and take
on a Manchester City team who seem to be starting to find their way. Mark
Hughes will be happy with recent results and is still looking to add to his
squad before the window closes on Monday evening. 

 

LEAGUE
FORM:

Stoke: LLDLL Man
City:
LWDWW 

 

LAST
MEETING:

26/10/08

City of Manchester
Stadium – Man City 3 – 0 Stoke City 

 

KEY
TEAM NEWS:

Key
players Ricardo Fuller and Liam Lawrence could return to Stoke's line-up,
whilst Abdoulaye Faye may miss out due to illness. Man City will be
hoping Shaun Wright-Phillips and Pablo Zabaleta can shake off minor knocks. 

 

ONE TO
WATCH:

Craig
Bellamy:
The
nomadic striker will be looking to build on his debut goal. 

 

PREDICTION:

Stoke 0 –
2 Man City

 


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Arsenal
v West Ham United

Emirates
– K.O. 15:00
 

 

BUILD-UP:

Robin van
Persie's wonderful strike in the dying seconds at Goodison Park could steer
Arsene Wenger's side into a good run of form as they take on the side who
inflicted their first ever defeat at the Emirates. West Ham are in a rich vein
of form, as is their marksman Carlton Cole who seems to be developing a good
strike partnership with David Di Michele.  

 

LEAGUE
FORM:

Arsenal:
DWWWD West
Ham:
WWDWW 

 

LAST
MEETING:

26/10/08

Upton Park
– West Ham 0 – 2 Arsenal 

 

KEY
TEAM NEWS:

Mikael
Silvestre is still sidelined for Arsenal who may include Kolo Toure in
their starting line-up. West Ham are unlikely to risk Kieran Dyer who is
still yet to fully recover from a broken leg, new record signing Savio may
again have to settle for a place on the bench. 

 

ONE TO
WATCH:

Carlton
Cole:
The
much maligned frontman has been the key to West Ham's revival. 

 

PREDICTION:

Arsenal 1
– 0 West HamYour browser may not support display of this image.

Aston
Villa v Wigan Athletic

Villa
Park – K.O. 15:00
 

 

BUILD-UP:

A win for
Villa would see them move level on points with Manchester United and leapfrog
Liverpool and Chelsea into second spot. Martin O'Neil's men refuse to buckle
under their newly found top four status. Wigan will not prove an easy task as
Steve Bruce has a well built side, although it has been decimated with the
losses of Wilson Palacios and Emile Heskey during the January window. 

 

LEAGUE
FORM:

Aston
Villa:
DWWWW Wigan:
WWLLD 

 

LAST
MEETING:

26/10/08

JJB
Stadium – Wigan 0 – 4 Aston Villa 

 

KEY TEAM
NEWS:

Aston
Villa
will
be missing Martin Laursen, Marlon Harewood, Nigel Reo-Coker and Ashley Young,
but will be boosted by John Carew's return to the squad. Chris Kirkland may
return in goal for Wigan but Antonio Valencia will definitely miss out. 

 

ONE TO
WATCH:

Gabriel
Agbonlahor:
With
Young suspended the onus will be on him to inject pace into Villa attacks. 

 

PREDICTION:

Aston
Villa 3 – 1 Wigan

 

 

 

Bolton
Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur

Reebok
Stadium – K.O. 15:00
 

 

BUILD-UP:

Gary
Megson will be awaiting the reaction of the home crowd after he condemned them
during the week. A victory will surely be the only result which will keep the
Bolton faithful off of his back. Tottenham looked impressive in midweek against
Stoke City after looking woeful in the F.A. Cup at Old Trafford last weekend.
Too many Jekyll and Hyde performances are wrecking Spurs' chance of truly
pulling away from the relegation dogfight. 

 

LEAGUE
FORM:

Bolton:
LLLLD  Tottenham:
DLLDW 

 

LAST
MEETING:

26/10/08

White Hart
Lane – Tottenham 2 – 0 Bolton 

 

KEY
TEAM NEWS:

Bolton have lost Kevin
Nolan to Newcastle and need to replace that hole, it remains to be seen if
newly signed promising youngster Mark Davies will be given the chance to make
the position his own.

 

Tottenham have Jermaine Jenas and Aaron Lennon at
50-50, Wilson Palacios may make his debut and Pascal Chimbonda is likely to
play his first game since returning to the club. 

 

ONE TO
WATCH:

Wilson
Palacios:
New
big-money signing could be just the midfield catalyst Spurs so desperately
need. 

 

PREDICTION:

Your browser may not support display of this image.Bolton
1 – 1 Tottenham 

 

 

 

Fulham
v Portsmouth

Craven
Cottage – K.O. 15:00
 

 

BUILD-UP:

Fulham
have gone from being one of the in-form surprise packages of the season to a
team who have recorded one win in nine games, Roy Hodgson has the experience to
get them back on track and they need to start winning again soon. A lack of
experience is just one of Tony Adams' problems at the Portsmouth helm as they
continue their slump towards the relegation zone. Just watching Adams conduct a
press conference can be cringe worthy, so who can only image what his team
talks must be like?

 

LEAGUE
FORM:

Fulham:
WDDLL  Portsmouth:
LLLDL 

 

LAST
MEETING:

26/10/08

Fratton
Park – Portsmouth 1 – 1 Fulham 

 

KEY
TEAM NEWS:

Chris
Baird is suffering from flu and will not feature for Fulham, who
welcomed Diomansy Kamara back into light training this week. Portsmouth
skipper Sol Campbell faces a late fitness test but Niko Kranjcar and Richard
Hughes definitely miss out for the visitors. 

 

ONE TO
WATCH:

Peter
Crouch:
If
the big man can find some form Portsmouth may be able to stop the rot. 

 

PREDICTION:

Your browser may not support display of this image.Fulham
1 – 1 Portsmouth 

 

 

 

Hull
City v West Bromwich Albion

KC
Stadium – K.O. 15:00
 

 

BUILD-UP:

Neither of
the promoted sides are in particularly good form, but West Brom have picked up
wins in recent weeks whereas Hull are on the longest current losing streak in
the league. Phil Brown's side have lost their last six and all of their hard
work at the start of the season is threatening to have been in vain. Tony
Mowbray's West Brom would have been in good spirits until they were demolished
5-0 in midweek. 

 

LEAGUE
FORM:

Hull: LLLLL WBA:
LWLWL 

 

LAST
MEETING:

25/10/08

Hawthorns
– WBA 0 – 3 Hull 

 

KEY
TEAM NEWS:

Hull welcome Boaz
Myhill back into the squad, but Matt Duke may keep his place. Meanwhile Jimmy
Bullard could make his first start but Daniel Cousin may miss out as he
continues his return to fitness. West Brom are without a host of
defensive players and may be forced to play both Ryan Donk and Pele, despite
them both suffering with groin injuries. 

 

ONE TO
WATCH:

Jimmy
Bullard:
Can
the charismatic cockney add skill and craft to a Hull side full of
determination?  

 

PREDICTION:

Hull
City 2 – 1 WBA 

 

 

 

Middlesbrough
v Blackburn Rovers

Riverside
– K.O. 15:00
 

 

BUILD-UP:

Sam
Allardyce is still yet to taste defeat as Blackburn boss and he will want that
to continue against lacklustre Middlesbrough. This game will mark Gareth
Southgate's 100th Premier League match in charge of Boro, but he
might not get many more if performances don't improve. Blackburn's run has
given them a great chance of beating the drop whereas Boro's form has been so
bad they could finish the weekend propping up the Premiership. 

 

LEAGUE
FORM:

Middlesbrough:
LLDLL Blackburn:
WDDWD 

 

LAST
MEETING:

25/10/08

Ewood Park
– Blackburn 1 – 1 Middlesbrough 

 

KEY
TEAM NEWS:

Middlesbrough
will
be without Andrew Taylor, Jeremie Aliadiere and Josh Walker (injured) as well
as Didier Digard and Gary O'Neil (suspended.) Marlon King should make his home
debut however.

 

Blackburn are still without David Dunn, Steven Reid and
Keith Treacy and El Hadji Diouf was not signed in time to play.

 

ONE TO
WATCH:

Marlon
King:
The
new loan signing needs to get goals if Middlesbrough are to avoid the trapdoor. 

 

PREDICTION:

Middlesbrough
0 – 1 Blackburn 

 

 

 

Manchester
United v Everton

Old
Trafford – K.O. 17:30 – WATCH LIVE: Setanta Sports 1
 

 

BUILD-UP:

This game
was originally due to take place on Monday evening but it could work to the
Champions advantage that it has been moved. If Man Utd can continue on their
great run of form and take three points, the pressure will really be on
Liverpool and Chelsea on Sunday afternoon. Everton though will prove a tough
nut to crack, even if they have a complete lack of fit goalscorers. 

 

LEAGUE
FORM:

Man
Utd:
WWWWW Everton:
WWWDD 

 

LAST
MEETING:

25/10/08

Goodison
Park – Everton 1 – 1 Man Utd 

 

KEY
TEAM NEWS:

Manchester
United's
injury
crisis continues to resolve itself as the line for the treatment table
shortens. Wayne Rooney, Nani and Patrice Evra will miss out but young full-back
Fabio could come back into the side.

 

Everton have no recognised
fit strikers to choose from and could even be missing makeshift frontmen Tim
Cahill and Marouane Fellaini.  

 

ONE TO
WATCH:

Dimitar
Berbatov:
Four
goals in United's last six games, the Bulgarian is looking the part at present.

 

PREDICTION:

Man
Utd 2 – 0 Everton

 

 

 

Article title: Arsenal & Villa to continue their march as West Brom slump again

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