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Premier League Weekend Preview: Game-by-Game Guide

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterNovember 16, 2012

Premier League Weekend Preview: Game-by-Game Guide

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    International fixtures be damned, this is the English Premier League—the most exciting league in the world!

    We start with an enticing North London derby on Saturday morning, where Arsenal and Tottenham are set to renew rivalries, then move into upset territory as Chelsea and Liverpool face tough fixtures several hours later.

    Sunday sees Manchester United attempt to stamp authority on the table, while Monday's finale promises a true battle between two evenly matched teams.

Arsenal vs. Tottenham

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    When: Nov. 17, 7:45 a.m. ET

    Where: Emirates Stadium

    North London's early kickoff hosts two bitter rivals both desperate to get their seasons back on track.

    After a pretty impressive winning streak for Andre Villas-Boas' troops, their form has stuttered of late and they seem to miss Moussa Dembele more than anyone had imagined.

    Arsenal appear thin on the ground themselves, and just a few more losses will have fans fearing another non-season.

    Last time they played it was an absolute epic. Can we expect something similar?

    Suspensions and Injuries: Arsenal—Olivier Giroud (50/50), Theo Walcott (50/50), Gervinho, Kieran Gibbs, Abou Diaby, Tomas Rosicky; Tottenham—Moussa Dembele, Scott Parker, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Younes Kaboul.

Liverpool vs. Wigan Athletic

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    When: Nov. 17, 10 a.m. ET

    Where: Anfield

    Last time Wigan Athletic visited Anfield, they came away 2-1 victors having beaten a poor Kenny Dalglish side.

    Brendan Rodgers' revolution continues to pick up pace, but results aren't matching performances at the moment. For the Latics, life in 14th place is treating them handsomely and they represent a real threat to any team this season with this level of confidence.

    The Reds should be on upset alert.

    Suspensions and Injuries: LiverpoolLucas Leiva; Wigan—James McArthur (50/50), Albert Crusat, Antolin Alcaraz.

Manchester City vs. Aston Villa

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    When: Nov. 17, 10 a.m. ET

    Where: The Etihad Stadium

    The last time these two sides met at the Etihad Stadium, Aston Villa won 4-2 in extra time. Unfortunately for Paul Lambert, he can't expect the same degree of complacency showed by Roberto Mancini that night.

    City are still unbeaten at home in the league for as long as anyone cares to remember, and Villa's late collapse against Javier Hernandez and co. last week may well be a sign of things to come.

    Suspensions and Injuries: Man CityMicah Richards, Jack Rodwell (50/50), Joleon Lescott; Villa—Joe Bennett, Richard Dunne, Chris Herd, Charles N'Zogbia, Gary Gardner.

Newcastle United vs. Swansea

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    When: Nov. 17, 10 a.m. ET

    Where: St. James' Park

    With one win in six, Newcastle are threatening to fall of the map slightly. They need to improve results quickly, and Swansea at home will be a game each of the players is eager to get stuck into.

    Michael Laudrup has steadied the Swans somewhat, but still appears to have a penchant for draws. The Dane has admitted his side will need to be at their best to get anything, while Alan Pardew just wants to make the fans happy (via PremierLeague.com).

    Suspensions and Injuries: Newcastle—Fabricio Coloccini, James Perch, Ryan Taylor; Swansea—Michel Vorm, Neil Taylor, Kenny Agustien (50/50).

Queens Park Rangers vs. Southampton

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    When: Nov. 17, 10 a.m. ET

    Where: Loftus Road

    One of the most important English Premier League games this weekend takes place in London as basement boys QPR and Southampton battle it out.

    It's an early six-pointer to watch with intrigue, and for those who are fans of Mark Hughes, it's becoming increasingly likely his days are numbered—watch him in action while you can.

    Suspensions and Injuries: QPR—Stephane Mbia, Park Ji-Sung, Fabio, Kieron Dyer; Southampton—Frazer Richardson, Richard Chaplow.

Reading vs. Everton

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    When: Nov. 17, 10 a.m. ET

    Where: The Madejski Stadium

    Reading fans will be bracing themselves for the train that is Marouane Fellaini and Everton. The Toffees are unbeaten in six and are currently overcoming the growing pains that naturally occur from becoming a feared and respected force.

    Reading sit 18th in the English Premier League table and are still in search of their first win. Is there a Royal upset on the cards?

    Suspensions and Injuries: Reading—Danny Guthrie, Jem Karacan, Alex McCarthy; Everton—Darron Gibson, Victor Anichebe, Tony Hibbert.

West Bromwich Albion vs. Chelsea

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    When: Nov. 17, 10 a.m. ET

    Where: The Hawthorns

    Like Liverpool vs. Wigan Athletic, this game has upset potential written all over it.

    Chelsea's flying start has been reined in and the Blues haven't won in three. West Brom, meanwhile, continue to surprise in fifth place (just four points behind Roberto Di Matteo's team) and currently boast a two-game winning streak.

    The Hawthorns has been an absolute fortress this year, with the Baggies winning five home games out of six. It's not out of the question, honestly.

    Suspensions and Injuries: West BromBen Foster, Gareth McAuley (50/50), Romelu Lukaku (ineligible); Chelsea—Frank Lampard, John Terry.

Norwich vs. Manchester United

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    When: Nov. 17, 12:30 p.m. ET

    Where: Carrow Road

    When Manchester United are on a run like this, you just hope you're not next on the fixture list.

    The Red Devils' incredible comeback at Villa Park last week probably had Chris Hughton gulping nervously and rightly so, as the Canaries face an almost insurmountable task against Robin van Persie and co.

    That said, Carrow Road has already played host to one upset this season...

    Suspensions and Injuries: NorwichRussell Martin, Harry Kane; Man Utd—Wayne Rooney (50/50), Jonny Evans (50/50).

Fulham vs. Sunderland

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    When: Nov. 18, 11 a.m. ET

    Where: Craven Cottage

    Dimitar Berbatov and Bryan Ruiz have the chance to make a game involving Sunderland are high-scoring affair here, as the Black Cats' results list has been riddled with stalemates and one-goal wins so far.

    Martin O'Neill's team will remain resilient as ever under pressure from an impressive home side, and if Steven Fletcher is fit to go, they stand a chance of grabbing a much-needed win.

    As yet, the long-term prospects for these two teams remain resoundingly unclear.

    Suspensions and Injuries: FulhamSimon Davies, Kieran Richardson; Sunderland—Keiren Westwood, Steven Fletcher, Phil Bardsley, Lee Cattermole (all 50/50).

West Ham vs. Stoke City

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    When: Nov. 19, 3 p.m. ET

    Where: The Boleyn Ground (Upton Park)

    Two of the English Premier League's meanest defences go head to head in a Monday night football exhibition, and this one promises to be a hard-fought affair.

    Sam Allardyce will be out to prove he is not a long-ball merchant against a manager who prides himself on that very same philosophy—the result is anyone's guess.

    The Hammers have been imperious at home, but the Potters don't let up easily.

    Suspensions and Injuries: Team news pending.

     

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