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Preview of Saturday’s Premier League games

Robin van Persie comes face-to-face with his old teammates ths weekend as Manchester United host Arsenal at Old Trafford

This weekend’s Premier League action kicks-off at Old Trafford, where Manchester United faces Arsenal in the early kick-off.

The Gunners suffered their worst ever Premier League defeat at Old Trafford in last season’s fixture, losing 8-2.

The Gunners are a much strong outfit now and will provide a far stiffer test for the home side.

Both teams claimed victories in their last Premier League outing, with United winning 3-2 at Chelsea and Arsenal beating London rivals QPR at the Emirates Stadium.

The two teams go into this fixture with injury concerns. Manchester United are still without centre-back Nemanja Vidic and playmaker Shinji Kagawa.

Young defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are make good progress after injuries, but are unlikely to feature in this clash. Former-Gunners striker Robin van Persie will face his former-club.

Arsenal will be without keeper Wojciech Szczesny, Gervinho and Kieran Gibbs for the clash. Starlet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also a big doubt for the visitors. Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna should continue their recuperation from long-term injury.

Elsewhere, Fulham host Everton at Craven Cottage. Both sides have made decent starts to the season and will be looking to add to their points tally in this clash. Fulham have a good home record and could move above their opponents with a victory.

However, Everton are a hard team to beat and have suffered just one defeat in the top flight this season. Everton will welcome back influential midfielder Steven Pienaar into the team. Belgian winger Kevin Mirallas is likely to feature, despite injuring his ankle in the Merseyside derby.

Fulham boss Martin Jol looks to have a near full strength squad available to him for the clash, although striker Dimitar Berbatov is set to under-go a fitness test ahead of the game.

Norwich host Stoke at Carrow Road with both sides currently in the bottom half of the table. The Canaries form has improved in recent weeks and it has seen them move out of the relegation zone. Chris Hughton’s side picked up a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa in their last league outing.

Stoke are one of the draw kings in the top flight this season with six draws from their first nine games. However, the Potters have claimed just one draw in the Premier League this season. Tony Pulis will see this clash as a very winnable one.

Sunderland are another team who are keen on a draw, the Black Cats have also drawn six of their eight games this season. Martin O’Neill comes up against former-club Aston Villa at Villa Park hoping that his side can add to their one Premier League victory so far this season.

Villa boss Paul Lambert played under the Ulsterman at Celtic and will be looking for a victory to kick-start the Villans season. The visitors currently sit 17th in the Premier League table and are in desperate need of points.

Premier League leaders Chelsea will be hoping to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to Manchester United as the Blues visit Swansea. The weekend defeat was their first in the top flight this season.

Roberto Di Matteo’s team will be boosted by the return of Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic, who served one-match bans in the midweek Carling defeat of Manchester United. However, centre-back and skipper John Terry is still suspended.

The Swans have had a mixed season so far and find themselves in 11th place in the Premier League table.

The Welsh side have a good home record and won’t be easily defeated. They are without first choice keeper Michel Vorm though. The Dutchman will be replaced by Gerard Tremmel in the Swans goal.

Tottenham host Wigan at White Hart Lane. Spurs moved into the top four with a 3-1 victory at Southampton last weekend. Their form has picked up under Andre Villas-Boas and they now look like a team capable of challenging for the top four spots this season.

The visitors have struggled for victories this season and claimed first home win of the campaign last weekend beating West Ham 2-1. The Latics currently sit 15th in the table and have won just out of the last six games against Spurs.

The Premier League late kick-off sees West Ham hosting Manchester City at the Boleyn Ground. The champions Manchester City have won four Premier League on the trot.  City defeated Swansea 1-0 at the Etihad stadium in their last top flight outing.

The home side will be looking to bounce back from their 2-1 defeat at Wigan in their last Premier League game. A victory for the Irons could take them into the top six. However their recent record against the champions is poor. The Citizens have won seven out of the last ten meetings between the two sides.

Can Arsenal Shock Manchester United at Old Trafford?

Fri 2 November, 2012
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