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Premier League preview: 08th November 2012

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson will be hoping his side can go six points clear at the top of the Premier League with a victory at Manchester City on Sunday

This round of Premier League fixtures is spread over three days.

The undoubted encounter of the weekend sees champions Manchester City host arch-rivals and league leaders Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in Sunday’s early kick-off.

City head into the game three points behind their local rivals looking for a win to take them back to the top of the table, after the Citizens drew 1-1 with Everton at the Etihad Stadium last weekend.

Meanwhile United recorded a 4-3 victory at Reading.

However, both Manchester clubs suffered Champions League losses in midweek. City lost 1-0 in Dortmund, while United lost 1-0 at home to Cluj, after previously sealing qualification for the knockout stages. This encounter could prove vital in the race for the Premier League title.

Also on Sunday in-form Tottenham travel to Everton’s Goodison Park. Spurs have won three consecutive games to leapfrog the Toffees in the table and are currently fourth in the Premier League table.

The home side meanwhile are just three points behind Tottenham and could move into the top four with a victory over Andre Villas-Boas’ side. The Merseysider’s have drawn seven out of their last nine games, including the last three.

The 4PM kick-off on Sunday sees West Ham host Liverpool at the Boleyn Ground. The Hammers will be looking to follow up last weekend’s victory over London rivals Chelsea with another victory when Brendan Rodgers side come to town.

Liverpool also claimed a victory last weekend, defeating strugglers Southampton 1-0 at Anfield. The Reds have found goals hard to come by and will be without their Uruguayan hitman Luis Suarez for this clash, as the striker is serving a one-game for picking up five yellow cards.

A victory for the Irons could move them into the top six, while a Liverpool victory would move the Reds above Sam Allardyce’s men in the Premier League table.

On Saturday Arsenal host West Brom at the Emirates Stadium looking to bounce back from back-to-back defeats at home and abroad. The Gunners lost 2-0 at home to Swansea last weekend and Arsene Wenger’s men slipped into 10th place in the Premier League table.

West Brom have been the surprise of the season so far in the Premier League, but have suffered back to back defeats in the top flight against Swansea and Stoke. Steve Clarke’s men are still fifth in the league and could move back into the Champions League spots with a victory in North London.

Elsewhere, Chelsea travels to Sunderland looking for their first Premier League victory under Rafa Benitez. The Blues picked-up a 6-1 win against Danish champions Nordsjaelland in the Champions League on Wednesday night, but the win wasn’t enough to avoid elimination from the competition.

Struggling Sunderland are just a point clear of the Premier League relegation zone. The Black Cats problem this season has been finding the net and they come up against one of the best defences in the top flight in Chelsea.

QPR will be looking for their first victory under Harry Redknapp when they travel to Wigan on Saturday. The Hoops drew 1-1 with Aston Villa at Loftus Road last weekend, but are seven points away from Premier League safety.

Wigan lost 3-0 at Newcastle in their last top flight outing. It was the Latics second consecutive defeat. Roberto Martinez’s men are just two points clear of the drop zone, but will see this game as an ideal opportunity to pick-up three points.

Swansea are in good form after claiming three consecutive victories and the Swans host Norwich, who are on an eight match unbeaten run. Michael Laudrup’s side have impressed in recent weeks and claimed a very creditable 2-0 win at Arsenal in their last top flight encounter.

Norwich defeated Sunderland 2-1 in their last outing and will be looking to continue their good run of form at the Liberty Stadium. If the Canaries are to defeat the Welsh side, then they will have to stop Swansea’s Michu, who has registered ten goals this season.

Two strugglers meet at St Marys, as newly promoted Southampton host Reading. A victory could move the Saints out of the relegation zone and Reading’s defensive record of not keeping a clean sheet on their travels this season will give Southampton cause for optimism.

Reading are looking to recover from three consecutive top flight defeats. The Royals are currently four points away from safety, but have a game in-hand on a number of their rivals, which they will play on Tuesday at Sunderland. Two victories could move Brian McDermott’s side out of the drop zone.

Aston Villa host in-form Stoke at Villa Park in the last Saturday’s games. Villa’s form has improved slightly in recent weeks, but Paul Lambert’s men are only two points clear of the relegation zone. The Villans are currently on a three match unbeaten run, but could find it tough against the visitors.

Stoke have claimed three consecutive victories and won four out of their last five games in the Premier League. The Potters also have an impressive defensive record this season with only Manchester City having kept more clean sheets this season.

On Monday night, out-of-form Fulham host Newcastle at Craven Cottage. The Cottagers have failed to win in eight games and suffered a 3-0 home defeat to Tottenham last weekend. Martin Jol will be hoping his side rediscover their winning touch against the Magpies.

Newcastle have won just one game in their last five Premier League encounters, losing four games on the trot before beating Wigan 3-0 in their last outing. The Magpies will hope to build on that victory and move up the table with a win in London.

Who will come out on top in the clash of the Manchester titans?

Sat 8 December, 2012
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