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Premier League preview 29th and 30th January 2013

Arsenal and Liverpool go head to head on Wednesday in crucial game for sides

Arsenal and Liverpool go head to head on Wednesday in a crucial game for both sides

There is a whole programme of Premier League games over the next two nights.

This evening there are four games and tomorrow six.

The action all kicks-off on Tuesday night with Aston Villa facing Newcastle at Villa Park in a crucial bottom of the table clash.

Both teams are just outside the relegation zone. Villa are outside the relegation zone by a point, while Newcastle are just one better off.

Villa are on a poor run of form and exited the FA Cup to Championship Millwall at the weekend.

Newcastle are not in much better shape either. However, the Magpies have been busy strengthening their squad in the January window and have signed four players in the past week. This is a must win game for both, but neither can afford to lose, as they could slip into the relegation zone with defeat.

Elsewhere, bottom of the table QPR host champions Manchester City at Loftus Road. The home side are still smarting from being beaten 4-2 at home by MK Dons at the weekend in the FA Cup. However, the team is likely to be a much changed one from the team that faced the Dons.

The Premier League champions head to London in good spirits after beating Stoke 1-0 in the FA Cup at the weekend. Victory is vital for the visitors as Roberto Mancini’s men need to keep up the pressure on arch-rivals and league leaders Manchester United in the title race.

Stoke and Wigan meet at the Britannia Stadium both trying to halt poor runs. The Potters have lost their last three top flight games, but will be hoping that they can gain maximum points against a struggling Wigan side.

Wigan arrive at the Britannia having won just one of their last ten Premier League games and find themselves third from bottom in the table. However the Latics have a good record against Stoke, having not lost in the last seven encounters with the Potters.

Two midtable teams meet at the Stadium of Light, as Sunderland host Swansea. The home side have won four out of their last six league games to move away from the relegation zone and the Black Cats are now just five points behind their visitors in the Premier League table.

However, the Swans arrive in the north east on a six match unbeaten run in the top flight. Michael Laudrup’s men are out of the FA Cup, so had a free weekend and the Dane will be hoping his side are fresher than their opponents.

Wednesday night’s action starts with four teams looking to gain European qualification for next season. Arsenal host Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium looking to gain ground on fourth-place Tottenham.

The Gunners have been inconsistent in recent weeks in the top flight and are in desperate need of a victory to move themselves above Everton and closer to arch-rivals Spurs.

The visitors meanwhile have been on a decent run of form in the Premier League of late, but suffered a shock 3-2 defeat at League One Oldham in the FA Cup on Sunday. The Reds line-up will be very different to the one that lined-up against Oldham though.

A win could take Liverpool level on points with the Gunners and put the Reds right back into the race for the Champions League spots this season.

Everton host West Brom at Goodison Park, with both teams still hoping to clinch a European spot this season. Everton are fifth and just three points behind Spurs and will be confident of a victory over their Midland visitors. Everton have suffered just three defeats in their last 32 top flight games.

The visitors have are on a terrible run  of form in the top flight, having lost three out of their last four games in the Premier League. The Baggies will be desperate for a win to keep their hopes alive of a top six finish this season.

Fourth-place Tottenham will be hoping to hold off their rivals with a victory at out-of-form Norwich. The home side are in truly woeful form and like West Brom have lost three out their last four top flight games. The Canaries were also knocked out of the FA Cup at home to non-league Luton at the weekend.

Tottenham also suffered a shock cup exit losing 2-1 to Championship Leeds on Sunday. Spurs form in the top flight has been decent in recent weeks, although Andre Villas-Boas’ men have drawn their last two league games.

Fulham and West Ham meet at Craven Cottage with both teams looking to get back into form. The home side have started to slip down the table after a poor run of results and are just six points above the bottom three.

The visitors are two places and points above the home side, but have been on a poor run of form themselves in recent weeks. The Hammers last Premier League victory came at home to Norwich on New Year’s Day.

Elsewhere, league leaders Manchester United host Southampton at Old Trafford. The Red Devils will be hoping to preserve or even extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table with a victory over the visitors.

Southampton’s form has improved significantly in recent weeks and the Saints have moved four points clear of the relegation zone. The visitor’s record of just two defeats in 12 league games will be in major threat at Old Trafford.

Last, but not least Reading host Chelsea at the Madejski Stadium. The home side have given themselves a big chance of staying up by winning their last two Premier League games. Confidence will be high in the Royals camp as they face the difficult task of defeating Chelsea.

The visitors have been on an inconsistent run of form in recent weeks and the Blues have lost ground on the two Manchester clubs above them. However, they triumph 4-0 at Stoke in their last Premier League away game and will be hoping to take maximum points in Berkshire.

Can the likes of Reading and Southampton gain surprise results?

Tue 29 January, 2013
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