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Premier League preview

Everton boss David Moyes will be looking for his side to consolidate fourth place as they face a tough trip to Stoke this weekend

As usual this weekend sees a host of exciting Premier League fixtures taking place.

The Premier League action kicks off at St James Park, where Newcastle host champions Manchester City in the early kick-off.

The Citizens lost their unbeaten Premier League record last weekend in that dramatic 3-2 derby defeat by Manchester United.

The defeat left City six points behind their arch-rivals in the race for the Premier League title.

City are in desperate need of a win on Tyneside and the omens are good for Roberto Mancini’s men. The Citizens haven’t lost to Newcastle in their last eleven meetings and Newcastle have suffered defeat in four of their last five Premier League outings.

Leaders Manchester United will be looking to hold onto their advantage of six points at the top of the table as they host struggling Sunderland at Old Trafford. The Black Cats have been struggling this season, but picked up a much needed 3-0 victory over Reading in their last outing.

The victory took the North East side out of the bottom three, but that move upwards could be short-lived with United in decent form. Sunderland have not claimed a victory at Old Trafford since 1968 and look unlikely to do so in Saturday’s fixture.

QPR host Fulham at Loftus Road looking to claim their first victory under boss Harry Redknapp. All three of Redknapp’s games in charge so far have ended in draws. The Hoops are eight points away from safety and need to start collecting victories sooner, rather than later.

Fulham’s poor run of form came to an end with a 2-1 victory over Newcastle on Monday. Despite that victory the Cottagers have struggled for form in recent weeks, drawing four out of their last six Premier League encounters.

Aston Villa visit Liverpool looking for a win that could move them away from the relegation zone. A 4-1 victory at Norwich in the Capitol One Cup in midweek could help boost morale ahead of the difficult trip to Merseyside.

The home side are on a decent run at the moment, claiming three wins and two draws at Anfield. The Reds have also only conceded one goal in their last five games on home soil. Brendan Rodgers men will also have star striker Luis Suarez available again, after he served a one match suspension.

Norwich host Wigan at Carrow Road looking to extend their winning run on home soil to five games. The Canaries are currently enjoying an unbeaten run of nine matches in the Premier League, but suffered a Capitol One Cup defeat against Villa during midweek.

The visitors are in a poor run of form that has seen them slip into the relegation zone. Their recent away performances haven’t helped the Latics either. Roberto Martinez’s team have lost five out of the last six away games and this trip looks like a difficult one.

Elsewhere, in-form Stoke host high-flying Everton at the Britannia Stadium. The Potters have been superb at home this season, claiming four victories and three draws and conceding just two goals on home turf. A victory could take City level on points with the Toffees.

Everton moved back into the top four last weekend, courtesy of two injury-time goals to defeat Tottenham 2-1 at Goodison Park. David Moyes’ men’s storming start to the season had been halted by a number of draws, but a win would consolidate their place in the Champions League spots.

Everton’s opponents last weekend Tottenham will be looking to reclaim that fourth spot on Sunday, as they host Swansea at White Hart Lane. Spurs have won three out of their last four games and will be hoping to get back to winning ways against the Welsh outfit.

The visitors are just three points behind Tottenham, despite losing 4-3 at home to Norwich last weekend. A victory would see Swansea leapfrog Spurs in the table and in Spaniard Michu they have one of the league’s top scorers

The late kick-off on Sunday sees West Brom host West Ham at the Hawthorns. The Baggies are still in the hunt for European football next season, despite suffering three consecutive defeats, to Swansea, Stoke and Arsenal.

West Ham are in a poor run of form at the moment losing against Tottenham, Manchester United and last weekend Liverpool. The defeat saw the Hammers drop down into the bottom half of the table, but Sam Allardyce’s men remain just four points behind fourth place Everton.

Who will be fourth at the end of the Premier League weekend?

Fri 14 December, 2012
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