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Predicting Wednesday’s EPL fixtures

Despite the top four clubs in England’s top-tier having taken the pitch on Tuesday, Wednesday’s match-ups are just as enticing.

Wednesday’s English Premier League schedule is as follows:

Aston Villa v Queens Park Rangers

Blackburn Rovers v Newcastle United

Bolton Wanderers v Arsenal

Fulham v West Bromwich Albion

Sunderland v Norwich City

For those of you who were expecting transfer news and rumors, my apologies. Let’s get started.

Aston Villa v Queens Park Rangers:

Mark Hughes and new signings Taye Taiwo and Nedum Onuoha travel to Villa Park to take on Alex McLeish and Aston Villa on Wednesday night.

Players to Watch

Keep an eye on left-back Taye Taiwo, who should be able to quell with Aston Villa wingers Marc Albrighton and Charles N’Zogbia.

For Villa, in-form striker Darren Bent will be looking to add to his tally of eight Premier League goals in 2011-12.

Prediction

A 1-1 draw seems a fair result for both sides, but perhaps the managers have other plans.

Blackburn Rovers v Newcastle United:

Next, the Magpies travel to Ewood Park to face 18th place Blackburn Rovers, who are trying to claw their way out of the relegation zone.

Will Blackburn’s supporters turn against them yet again?

Players to Watch

For Blackburn, Yakubu, who has netted 12 Premier League goals in 16 games in 2011-12, is the man to watch.

Besides Demba Ba, Leon Best is the only other Magpie with more than two goals in the Premier League this season.

Look for the Ireland international to cause havoc in front of Blackburn’s goal.

Prediction

Magpies win 2-1.

Bolton Wanderers v Arsenal:

After coming from two goals down to beat Aston Villa 3-2 in the FA Cup, Arsenal take their momentum to the Reebok to take on Bolton Wanderers.

Unless Bolton recruit Amir Khan to feature in their defence, this one could get rather ugly for the home side.

Players to Watch

Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen will need to be on legendary form if Bolton are to rescue a point from the Gunners in this one.

Arsenal will need Dutch striker Robin van Persie to be on top-form if they wish to cruise to victory at the Reebok.

Prediction

This may be a bit of a stretch, but I’ll go with 3-0 Gunners.

Fulham v West Bromwich Albion:

West Brom will face the in-form Clint Dempsey and Fulham at Craven Cottage on Wednesday night.

Players to Watch

The aforementioned US international Clint Dempsey, who has bagged 15 goals and 4 assists in 31 games in all competitions, is surely the man to fear if you are West Brom.

For West Brom, leading scorer Shane Long will he hoping that he can add to his tally of six Premier League goals in 2011-12.

Prediction

To be perfectly honest, I fancy Fulham to boss the game and win 2-0.

Sunderland v Norwich City:

The last EPL game on Wednesday is between Premier League newcomers Norwich City and Sunderland.

Sitting in 9th place in the table, Norwich have been the surprise of the season thus far, while Sunderland have risen to 10th under new boss Martin O’Neill.

Players to Watch

For Sunderland, watch out for Arsenal loanee Nicklas Bendtner.

As for Norwich City, keep a close watch on former Millwall striker Steve Morison.

Prediction

A point for each side seems justifiable. 1-1 draw.

Tue 31 January, 2012
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