Premier League Weekend: Game-by-Game Guide

Samuel Marsden@@samuelmarsdenFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2012

Premier League Weekend: Game-by-Game Guide

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    Soaring back to a ground, television screen or minute-by-minute update near you this weekend is England's Premier League.

    Six games on Saturday should whet your appetite for Sunday's football feast, before a final dose of action at Craven Cottage on Monday.

    From the battle between the top two (who happen to share a city), to two sides desperate to move themselves out of the relegation zone, expect drama.  

    Read on for a game-to-game guide on all this weekend's fixtures...

Arsenal vs West Brom

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    After last weekend's defeat to Swansea, Arsenal have a record that reads just one win in six. On Saturday they host Steve Clarke's West Brom at The Emirates Stadium.

    The Baggies flew out of the traps this season, but following back-to-back defeats, will not be particularly thankful for what will be a testing trip into London.

    Arsene Wenger rested many key players for the midweek trip to Greece, and will be hopeful his side can snarl the three points to move them within two of the Midlanders.

Aston Villa vs Stoke City

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    As debates rumble on about why Paul Lambert doesn't pick Darren Bent, it seems to have slipped under the radar that Aston Villa are unbeaten in three games.

    Credible draws at home to Arsenal and away to QPR have sandwiched a vital 1-0 win at home to Reading in recent weeks.

    Stoke City travel to Villa Park this weekend with the intentions of ending that mini-run. The Potters have been looking good themselves recently, and sit second in the form table heading into this encounter.

Southampton vs Reading

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    Two teams currently in the relegation zone meet at St Marys this weekend, where Southampton host Reading in what was, last season, a Championship fixture.

    The Saints had picked up eight points in four games—coinciding with the return of Jack Cork—prior to last weekend's 1-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.

    Reading have lost three on the spin and another loss would see them slip six points behind their south coast opponents by full-time.

Sunderland vs Chelsea

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    Chelsea travel to Sunderland a Europa League side, after their 6-1 win over Nordsjaelland rendered irrelevant in their quest for Champions League qualification in midweek.

    With two goals in that game, Fernando Torres will look to continue that form, and in turn, end the club's run of no-win in six league games.

    Martin O'Neill's side are also desperate for points, just one win in six has seen them hovering dangerously close to the relegation zone. 

Swansea vs Norwich

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    Who would've thought that a match involving two of the in-form teams would be between Swansea and Norwich? Well, it is.

    Michu's late brace stunned Arsenal last Saturday, and the Liberty Stadium will be full of anticipation to see if he can fire the Swans to three more points against Norwich.

    The Canaries have flipped their season around. They head to Wales with 12 points from their last six games and with their confidence surely high.

Wigan vs QPR

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    It might only be December but Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has branded Saturday's clash with QPR a "must-win" game.

    Fresh from a 3-0 defeat to Newcastle on Monday night, it is impossible to predict which Wigan side will turn up- such is their inconsistency.

    As for this weekend's visitors, QPR are still without a win, but there are indications that Harry Redknapp's arrival may herald a revival soon.

Manchester City vs Manchester United

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    The arrival of Manchester City to the main stage in recent years has intensified their rivalry with their next door neighbours; on Sunday they lock horns.

    Eliminated from the Champions League, the blue side of Manchester occupy second place in the table, but proudly remain unbeaten in their 15 games.

    The red side sit on top, three points clear of City and still in the Champions League. That will all count for nothing though if after 90 minutes they haven't silenced the Eastland's crowd. 

Everton vs Tottenham

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    Two teams with genuine Champions League aspirations will go toe-to-toe at Goodison Park on Sunday when Tottenham make the trip to Merseyside.

    Everton have shared the spoils in eight of their 15 games this season, deservedly earning them the repuation of draw specialists. 

    Spurs, with three wins in a row, sit in fourth and will be keen to at least maintain the three-point advantage they have over their hosts this weekend.

West Ham vs Liverpool

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    A contrast of footballing philosophies will be put to the test at Upton Park this weekend with West Ham welcoming Liverpool.

    Fresh from a fantastic win over Chelsea, Sam Allardyce's side are known for their more direct style. It's an effective style too; the Hammers have lost just once at home this season.

    On the other hand, Liverpool have won just once away from Anfield. Brendan Rodgers will stick to his guns and hope his passing style wins the day.

Fulham vs Newcastle

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    Newcastle stopped their recent rot on Monday night at St James' Park, taking no mercy on 10-man Wigan as they beat them 3-0.

    This Monday, they are away at Fulham. The two sides both have identical records so far this season: four wins, five draws, six defeats.

    Martin Jol has said that "tiredness" is behind Fulham's failure to win in seven games, that shouldn't play a part against the Toon Army.