Premier League: Weekend Preview

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Premier League: Weekend Preview
After the sabbatical for continental football, the Premier League returns on Saturday with yet another set of mouth watering clashes. No match on the weekend is bigger than the London Derby between title rivals, Arsenal and Chelsea.
The outfit from Emirates has struggled recently against Carlo Ancelotti’s men and in the absence of Cesc Fabregas; the sequence is unlikely to be disturbed. Didier Drogba has excelled against the Gunners on every occasion and has scored 12 times in his 10
outings against Wenger’s men.
He will again lead his side’s attack along with Nicolas Anelka while Kalou, Lampard, Benayoun and Sturridge would also be absent as all of them are out nursing injuries. Both the teams lost their previous games in the Premier League but backed it up with
wins in Europe. Now, with local bragging rights up for grabs, the clash can be expected to be a thrilling one.
In another match, Manchester United will travel to the Stadium of Light to take on Sunderland. Rio Ferdinand’s return at the heart of defense can prove to be pivotal for United as they have been leaking goals in their recent matches. Sunderland would be
buoyant after positive results against Arsenal and Liverpool in their last two outings. Their run of 13 unbeaten games at home should also boost their confidence further but their defeats before these 13 games only came at the hands of Manchester United.
In yet another big clash, Aston Villa will take on Tottenham Hotspurs at White Hart Lane. Spurs lost their last Premier League game against West Ham but their victory against F Twente restored the happy feelings around the club. On the other hand, Villa
have had a poor start to the season but if other results go their way on the weekend, they can finish the weekend on 2nd place in the EPL table. The Saturday’s lunchtime clash between Wigan Athletic and Wolves would be an encounter between two teams
who have had disastrous start to the season. Only one point separates them at the near bottom of the table. So, a win would be priceless for both sides.
West Ham United are scheduled to play Fulham at Upton park in another London Derby of the weekend. The Hammers will be looking to register back to back wins in the league after their last week’s success against Spurs but Fulham would be no pushovers as along
with United, the Craven Cottagers are the only other side in the league that has not been beaten this season. Everton is another team that has had a catastrophic start to the season and is currently in the relegation zone but David Moyes is hoping that his
side’s fortunes take a turn towards good against Birmingham on Saturday. The Blues have remained unbeaten in their last 18 games at home but at the same time they have only conjured one win in the season so far.
Moreover, West Brom would be buzzing with confidence after a fantastic result against Arsenal in their last match as they meet Bolton Wanderers at the Hawthrons. The Baggies are currently sixth on the table and will be looking for a positive result at home
turf but Owen Coyle’s men are also on a high after holding Manchester United to a 2-2 draw in their last outing. The last match on Sunday would see Stoke City taking on Blackburn Rovers and this for sure will be a game not for the purists as these two sides
prefer to play with their bodies on the line. Brittiania is a sort of fortress for the Potters and Sam Allardyce’s Rovers may be in for a rough ride.
In the remaining two matches of the weekend, Manchester City, after a respectable draw against Juve in the Europa League, will take on Newcastle United while Liverpool will host the Premiership’s new boys, Blackpool.



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