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Premier League preview 12th January 2013

Who will come out on top in the battle of the in-form strikers at Old Trafford?

Who will come out on top in the battle of the in-form strikers at Old Trafford?

Two of the biggest games of the weekend in the Premier League will be played on Sunday.

In the early kick-off Manchester United host bitter North West rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford.

The home side go into the clash in fine form, having claimed eight victories from their last nine top flights games.

The visitors are also in decent form though and have moved up the Premier League table in recent weeks.

A lot of the attention will be focused on the team’s respective attacks, with both Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and United’s Robin van Persie in sparkling form.

The second game of the day takes place at the Emirates Stadium, where Arsenal face champions Manchester City. The champions head into this encounter seven points behind arch-rivals Manchester United at the top of the table and know they can’t afford to slip-up in this clash.

The Gunners meanwhile are in desperate need of a victory to keep in touch with the Champions League spots. Arsene Wenger’s men are currently four points behind fourth place Chelsea. Wenger will be hoping that his side can repeat last season’s 1-0 victory over City.

On Saturday Chelsea face a very tough trip to midtable Stoke. The Potters are the only team in the top flight to remain unbeaten at home. They also have the second best defensive record in the Premier League.

Chelsea became the first team to win at Everton’s Goodison Park since March in their last Premier League encounter away from home and Rafa Benitez’s men will be hoping for the same sort of result at the Britannia Stadium.

Tottenham visit rock-bottom QPR in the early kick-off. Tottenham have been on a good run of form which has seen them rise up the Premier League table to third. Spurs missed out on the Champions League spots last season and will be hoping to avoid the same fate in this campaign.

The home side have former-Spurs boss Harry Redknapp in their dugout. The Hoops looked doomed to relegation until last weekend’s shock 1-0 at London rivals Chelsea. The victory moved Rangers within five points of safety and win would help boost their survival chances.

Everton host Swansea at Goodison Park looking to move into the top four. David Moyes’ men are just three points off third place Tottenham and two behind fourth place Chelsea. The Toffees have suffered just one defeat in their last nine Premier League games.

However, Swansea will arrive on Merseyside in high spirits after winning 2-0 at Chelsea in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night. Michael Laudrup’s side are unbeaten in four Premier League games.

In a meeting of two of the bottom five Aston Villa host Southampton at Villa Park. The home side suffered a humiliating 3-1 Capital One Cup defeat Bradford on Tuesday night and are just a point outside the relegation zone.

The visitors are a place and point below their hosts. Nigel Adkins side are only out of the relegation zone on goal difference. The Saints suffered a 5-1 hammering last weekend at the hands of Chelsea in the FA Cup, but have drawn their last three Premier League games.

Fulham host struggling Wigan at Craven Cottage looking to move further away from the relegation zone. The home side ended a terrible run of form on New Year’s Day with a 2-1 win against West Brom. The victory moved the Cottagers six points clear of the relegation zone.

The Latics are in the relegation zone on goal difference. Roberto Martinez’s side have claimed just one win in their last eight games, but will move out of the drop zone with a win.

Meanwhile, second from bottom Reading host West Brom at the Madejski Stadium. The Royals are five points away from safety, but a victory against the Baggies would give them a fighting chance of survival.

The visitors are still seventh in the Premier League table, despite consecutive Premier League defeats. Steve Clarke’s men have also failed to keep a clean sheet on their travels this season.

Norwich host Newcastle at Carrow Road looking to end a run of four consecutive defeats. The Canaries are still in midtable in the Premier League table despite their poor run of form and will be hoping to get back to winning ways against the Magpies.

The visitors are in all kinds of trouble. Alan Pardew’s men are just two points clear of the relegation zone and have lost top scorer Demba Ba to Chelsea. One bright spot is the signing of French international full-back Mathieu Debuchy, who could make his debut in this clash.

Sunderland host West Ham at the Stadium of Light, as both sides attempt to move up the Premier League table. The home side are four points clear of the relegation zone and a win would take them within a point of West Ham.

The Irons form has been inconsistent of late, but boss Sam Allardyce will be encouraged by the performance of new signing Joe Cole in last weekend’s FA Cup draw with Arsenal. The England international is likely to make his second Premier League debut for the visitors in this clash.

Who will come out on top in the battle of the strikers at Old Trafford?

Fri 11 January, 2013
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