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Liverpool and Villa resume service, while more misery for Newcastle

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.

 

 

Manchester
City v Middlesbrough

 

City of
Manchester Stadium – K.O. 12:45 – WATCH LIVE: Sky Sports 1

 

BUILD-UP:

Manchester
City seemed to be reaching the standards required by the richest club in the
world. But after losing to 10-man Stoke City last weekend it is back to the
drawing board for Mark Hughes and staff. Middlesbrough continue to be stuck in
the quagmire of the relegation zone and look unlikely to pull themselves out of
it any time soon. A win for either side could herald the start of a good run.

 

LEAGUE
FORM:

Man City:
WDWWL Middlesbrough:
LDLLD

 

LAST
MEETING:

29/10/08

Riverside –
Middlesbrough 2-0 Man City

 

KEY TEAM
NEWS:

 

New Man
City
goalkeeper Shay Given is expected to be handed his debut whilst Shaun
Wright-Phillips is also available pending his violent conduct charge.

 

Middlesbrough
are without Andrew Taylor and Jeremie Aliadiere out but welcome back Didier
Digard and Gary O'Neil from suspension.

 

ONE TO
WATCH:

Shaun
Wright-Phillips:
The
pintsized winger will want to let his football do the talking.

 

PREDICTION:

Man City 2 –
1 Middlesbrough

 

Blackburn
Rovers v Aston Villa

Ewood
Park – K.O. 15:00

BUILD-UP:

Both sides
will go into this game fancying their chances of picking up all three points.
Sam Allardyce has done well not to lose since taking charge at Blackburn but
has to find a way of changing draws into wins if he is to haul Rovers away from
the relegation zone. Aston Villa will be looking to pull even further away from
Arsenal with yet another victory as they still continue to defy those who claim
they won't last the pace.

LEAGUE
FORM:

Blackburn:
DDWDD Aston
Villa:
WWWWD

LAST
MEETING:

29/10/08

Villa Park –
Aston Villa 3-2 Blackburn

 

KEY TEAM
NEWS:

 

Blackburn
should
revert back to their usual team after the midweek FA Cup replay and El-Hadji
Diouf could be given his debut. Stiliyan Petrov returns from suspension and
like their opponents

 

Aston Villa should bring back all their key
personel.

 

ONE TO
WATCH:

El-Hadji
Diouf:
Can
the cultured forward find a better home at Ewood Park than The Stadium of
Light.

 

PREDICTION:

Blackburn 1
– 2 Aston Villa

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Chelsea v
Hull City

 

Stamford
Bridge – K.O. 15:00

 

BUILD-UP:

Surely
Chelsea will brush themselves off after last weekend's defeat to Liverpool and
beat Hull who really do need to start picking up points. Maybe Phil Brown's
side will go on another run of form if they could just pick up a win, but the
chances of that happening at Stamford Bridge are slim to none. Luis Filipe
Scolari will be wanting an impressive result to keep the crowd off of his back.

 

LEAGUE
FORM:

Chelsea: DLWWL Hull:
LLLLD

 

LAST
MEETING:

29/10/08

KC Stadium –
Hull City 0-3 Chelsea

 

KEY TEAM
NEWS:

Hilario is
likely to start for Chelsea as Petr Cech is injured. Ricardo Quaresma is
in line to make his debut and his Portuguese International colleague Ricardo
Carvalho could also start depending on the result of a late fitness test.

 

Hull
are missing several key players including Daniel Cousin, Jimmy Bullard, Bernand
Mendy and Nicky Barmby.

 

ONE TO
WATCH:

Ricardo
Quaresma:
Can
the winger succeed at Chelsea after failing to impress in Milan?

 

PREDICTION:

Chelsea 4 –
0 Hull City

 

 

 

Everton v
Bolton Wanderers

Goodison
Park – K.O. 15:00

 

BUILD-UP:

David Moyes
left his pre-match press conference in silence after awkward questions about
his bust-up with Victor Anichebe. He will be a lot more vocal on the sidelines
tomorrow as his side look to close the gap on the top five teams. Gary Megson
still doesn't seem to have the support of his fans despite doing a decent job
with limited resources at Bolton.

 

LEAGUE
FORM:

Everton: WWDDL Bolton:
LLLDW

 

LAST
MEETING:

29/10/08

Reebok
Stadium – Bolton 0-1 Everton

 

KEY TEAM
NEWS:

Victor
Anichebe is again conspicuous by his absence from the Everton squad but
new loan signing Jo could make his debut whilst there are doubts over the
fitness of Steven Pienaar and Marouane Fellaini. Bolton will be missing
Johan Elmander, Joey O'Brien and Gavin McCann but Tamir Cohen and Nicky Hunt
should return.

 

ONE TO
WATCH:

Kevin
Davies:
Great
performances have led to calls from some quarters for an International bow.

 

PREDICTION:

Everton 2-1
Bolton

 

Sunderland
v Stoke City

 

Stadium
of Light – K.O. 15:00

 

BUILD-UP:

Ricky
Sbragia has picked up his first victory as permanent Sunderland manager two
weeks ago and only a shocking penalty decision denied him back-to-back wins
last weekend. He will be expecting his team to pick up another win over Stoke,
a team with a terrible away record in the top flight. His Stoke counterpart
Tony Pulis will be hoping to use last weekend's victory over the billionaire
boys from Manchester as a springboard for a first away success of the
season.

 

LEAGUE
FORM:

Sunderland: LDLWD Stoke:
LDLLW

 

LAST
MEETING:

29/10/08

Britannia
Stadium – Stoke City 1-0 Sunderland

 

KEY TEAM
NEWS:

With Anton
Ferdinand, Paul McShane and Nyron Nosworthy all doubtful for Sunderland
it is likely that debuts will be handed to Calum Davenport and Tal Ben Haim. Stoke
City
will be missing long throw expert Rory Delap who starts a three match
ban, Stephen Kelly and Henri Camara could make their debuts.

 

ONE TO
WATCH:

Matthew
Etherington:
A
touch of class on the wing could keep Stoke City afloat this season.

 

PREDICTION:

Sunderland 1
– 1 Stoke

West
Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United

Hawthorns
– K.O. 15:00

BUILD-UP:

Despite
sitting at the foot of the table West Brom will still be very hopeful of
Premier League survival come May, mainly due to just how close the league is.
This fact is highlighted by the fact that a win for the Baggies over Newcastle
would see them jump above Joe Kinnear's men in the table. Newcastle could be
dragged right into the relegation mire and need to pick up points against the
likes of West Brom to keep their heads above water.

 

LEAGUE
FORM:

WBA:
WLWLD Newcastle: LDLLD

 

LAST
MEETING:

29/10/08

St.James'
Park – Newcastle 2-1 West Brom

 

KEY TEAM
NEWS:

Jay Simpson
and Gianni Zuiverloon will miss out for West Brom but they do welcome
back James Morrision and could hand a debut to Juan Carlos Menseguez. Newcastle
are missing Jonas and could be without Andy Carroll and Fabricio Coloccini,
but strikers Alan Smith, Mark Viduka and Obafemi Martins are all in contention.

 

ONE TO
WATCH:

Kevin
Nolan:
The
ex-Bolton star will be looking to build on a fantastic debut.

 

PREDICTION:

WBA 2 – 1
Newcastle

 

 

Wigan
Athletic v Fulham

JJB
Stadium – K.O. 15:00

 

BUILD-UP:

Steve Bruce
lost a few key players during the transfer window and will be keen to keep the
momentum flowing despite this. A home game against Fulham usually means that
you are going to pick up at least a point, but Bruce will be hoping for all
three. Roy Hodgson has dabbled in the transfer window yet again and he will be
hoping his seemingly astute signings will be able to steady the ship and start
picking up points on a regular basis once more.

 

LEAGUE
FORM:

Wigan:
WLLDD Fulham: DDLLW

 

LAST
MEETING:

29/10/08

Craven
Cottage – Fulham 2-0 Wigan

 

KEY TEAM
NEWS:

Wigan have included
Antonio Valencia and Amr Zaki in their squad after injuries and could hand a debut
to Charles N'Zogbia. Chris Baird is still absent for Fulham who are also
still without Diomansy Kamara, meanwhile Olivier Dacourt and Giles Barnes look
likely to make their debuts.

 

ONE TO
WATCH:

Charles
N'Zogbia:
The
enigmatic Frenchman could sparkle and shine or flop at the JJB.

 

PREDICTION:

Wigan 1 – 0
Fulham

Portsmouth
v Liverpool

 

Fratton
Park – K.O. 17:30 – WATCH LIVE: Setanta Sports 1

 

BUILD-UP:

With legal
wranglings with a national newspaper, fans abusing their own manager and
results on the field getting more and more dismal, Portsmouth could be
described as a team in turmoil. Liverpool on the other hand have had a mixed
week, a win against Chelsea has got them right back on track in the title race
but defeat in the FA Cup and an injury to Steven Gerrard means they could find
putting a run together more difficult.

 

LEAGUE
FORM:

Portsmouth:
LLDLL Liverpool: WDDDW

 

LAST
MEETING:

29/10/08

Anfield –
Liverpool 1-0 Portsmouth

 

KEY TEAM
NEWS:

Armand
Traore, Younes Kaboul and Jermaine Pennant are unavailable for Portsmouth
who could welcome back skipper Sol Campbell and give debuts to Greek pair
Angelos Basinas and Theofanis Gekas. Liverpool will be without
charismatic captain Steven Gerrard and Lucas is suspended.

 

ONE TO
WATCH:

Xabi
Alonso:
With
Gerrard missing his job in the Liverpool engine room is more vital than
usual.

 

PREDICTION:

Portsmouth 0
– 2 Liverpool

 

 

 

Article title: Liverpool and Villa resume service, while more misery for Newcastle

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