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Weekend English Premier League previews

Updated: Saturday, 29 Dec 2012 15:20 | Comments

Ireland striker Shane Long will be hoping to maintain West Brom's push for Champions League football as they travel to face Manchester United on Saturday
Ireland striker Shane Long will be hoping to maintain West Brom's push for Champions League football as they travel to face Manchester United on Saturday

All games 15.00 unless stated

Highlights: Premier Soccer Saturday, RTÉ Two, 19.45

SATURDAY

Sunderland v Tottenham, 12.45

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill will be without full-back Danny Rose.

The defender is unavailable under the terms of his loan agreement with parent club Spurs, although John O'Shea could return to the back four after missing the victory over Manchester City through illness.

O'Neill has recalled midfielder David Meyler from his loan spell at Hull after he completed a one-match ban, but will look at how his squad has recovered following the City game before naming his team.

Forward Clint Dempsey and midfielder Tom Huddlestone have a chance of returning for Tottenham from their respective groin and knee injuries.

Defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto may make his long-awaited comeback from a knee injury while midfielder Scott Parker could also make his first start of the season after coming off the bench in the last three games following his recovery from an Achilles injury.

Midfielder Mousa Dembele should be fit despite coming off against Aston Villa with his niggling hip injury, but defender Younes Kaboul (knee) remains out.

Sunderland squad: Mignolet, Westwood, Bardsley, Kilgallon, O'Shea, Cuellar, Bramble, Gardner, Colback, McClean, Larsson, Johnson, Vaughan, Sessegnon, Meyler, Saha, Campbell, Wickham, McFadden, Fletcher.

Tottenham squad: Friedel, Lloris, Gomes, Cudicini, Walker, Naughton, Assou-Ekotto, Gallas, Caulker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Lennon, Sigurdsson, Townsend, Bale, Falque, Carroll, Mason, Livermore, Sandro, Huddlestone, Dembele, Parker, Dempsey, Adebayor, Defoe.

Aston Villa v Wigan

Aston Villa will be without a host of players.

Defender Nathan Baker is the latest to be ruled out after he was forced off with a hamstring problem just before half-time in the 4-0  defeat at home to Tottenham.

Baker joins captain Ron Vlaar (calf), Gabriel Agbonlahor (thigh), Charles N'Zogbia (knee), Darren Bent (hamstring), Richard Dunne (groin) and Andreas Weimann (calf) on the sidelines.

Apparent Liverpool target Franco di Santo is amongst those who will come into contention for Wigan. 

The game might come too soon for defender Ivan Ramis though, who is still to make an appearance after suffering a hamstring injury at the end of last month, and is likely to be on the bench at best.

Aston Villa squad: Guzan, Given, Lowton, Herd, Clark, Lichaj, Stevens, Bennett, Ireland, Westwood, El Ahmadi, Bannan, Delph, Holman, Benteke, Bowery, Burke, Johnson, Williams.

Wigan squad: Al Habsi, Pollitt, Boyce, Caldwell, Ramis, Figueroa, Beausejour, Jones, Maloney, McCarthy, McCarthur, Stam, McManaman, Di Santo, Boselli, Kone, Fyvie, Redmond, Mustoe, Orsula, Morris.

Fulham v Swansea

Fulham's Bryan Ruiz has been passed fit to start.

The Costa Rica international made his return from a hamstring injury in the 1-1 draw with Southampton, playing the entire second half on St Stephen’s Day.

Mahamadou Diarra and Mladen Petric are doubts to face Swansea, while Damien Duff could miss out again.

Top scorer Michu will miss out for Swansea due to the ankle injury he suffered in the draw at Reading.

The 13-goal Spaniard has not recovered in time to face the Cottagers, with Danny Graham, Itay Shechter and Luke Moore all competing to start up front in his place.

Winger Pablo Hernandez and full-back Angel Rangel are set to return from thigh and ankle problems respectively after missing the opening part of the festive period.

Fulham squad: Schwarzer, Stockdale, Riether, Kelly, Hangeland, Hughes, Senderos, Riise, Dejagah, Baird, Sidwell, Diarra, Karagounis, Kacaniklic, Richardson, Kasami, Duff, Ruiz, Rodallega, Petric, Berbatov.

Swansea squad: Vorm, Bartley, Flores, Williams, Britton, Lita, Michu, Graham, Hernandez, Dyer, Routledge, Monk, Shechter, Moore, De Guzman, Tiendalli, Rangel, Ki, Tremmel, Agustien, Gower, Richards, Davies.

Man Utd v West Brom

Ashley Young and Danny Welbeck could both be back to bolster Manchester United's attacking options.

The pair missed the win over Newcastle with minor ailments, but Alex Ferguson expects both men to be available.

Shinji Kagawa (knee) may also be involved for the first time since October, but Wayne Rooney (knee) and Phil Jones miss out and veterans Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes are expected to be rested.

West Brom have a trio of fresh injury doubts.

Defenders Jonas Olsson (groin) and Goran Popov (hamstring) and midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu (hamstring) all sustained injuries during the win at QPR.

Another midfielder in Claudio Yacob (hamstring) remains sidelined and as a result Albion have recalled George Thorne from a loan spell at Peterborough.

Manchester United squad: Lindegaard, De Gea, Smalling, Vidic, Wootton, Ferdinand Evans, Buttner, Evra, Cleverley, Giggs, Fletcher, Scholes, Tunnicliffe, Carrick, Kagawa, Young, Hernandez, Welbeck, Van Persie.

West Brom squad: Foster, Myhill, Daniels, Jones, Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Tamas, Dawson, Ridgewell, Popov, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Thorne, Brunt, Morrison, Gera, Odemwingie, Fortune, Long, Lukaku, Rosenberg.

Norwich v Manchester City

Norwich manager Chris Hughton has no new injury concerns.

Defender Steven Whittaker will miss out with an ongoing hip injury with Andrew Surman also unlikely to feature as he continues his recovery from a knee problem.

Ryan Bennett is back in contention after returning to the bench against Chelsea, while John Ruddy (thigh) is the only long-term absentee for the Canaries.

Midfielder Samir Nasri (hamstring) could return for Manchester City.

Striker Carlos Tevez is available after taking a day off training due to illness and right-back Pablo Zabaleta's cut head is not a problem, but forward Mario Balotelli (virus) remains a doubt.

Full-backs Aleksandar Kolarov and Maicon (both knee) are still out along with the long-term casualties of defender Micah Richards (knee) and midfielder Jack Rodwell (hamstring).

Norwich squad: Bunn, Rudd, Turner, Bassong, Martin, Barnett, R Bennett, Garrido, Snodgrass, Howson, Tettey, Johnson, Pilkington, Surman, E Bennett, Hoolahan, Holt, Morison, Jackson, Kane.

Man City squad: Hart, Pantilimon, Wright, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Nastasic, K Toure, Clichy, Rekik, Nasri, Milner, Barry, Y Toure, Garcia, Silva, Sinclair, Aguero, Tevez, Dzeko, Balotelli, Razak.

Reading v West Ham

Reading midfielder Danny Guthrie could make his second appearance inside a week.

Guthrie, who apologised after refusing to participate in the 3-0 defeat at Sunderland earlier this month, impressed manager Brian McDermott on his comeback to the side in the Royals' Boxing Day draw with Swansea.

Veteran striker Jason Roberts has missed the last four matches with a hip injury. Defender Sean Morrison is still sidelined with ankle injury and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy is out long term with a shoulder problem.

West Ham have striker Carlton Cole available.

Manager Sam Allardyce would have been facing a shortage of attacking options if Cole had been banned with Andy Carroll (knee) still missing and Ricardo Vaz Te only just back in training after recovering from a dislocated shoulder.

Yossi Benayoun has had his loan spell at Upton Park cut short through injury and has returned to parent club Chelsea whilst Mohamed Diame (hamstring) remains sidelined.

Reading squad: Federici, Taylor, Gunter, Cummings, Gorkss, Pearce, Karacan, Kebe, Mariappa, Shorey, Harte, McAnuff, Guthrie, Leigertwood, Tabb, McCleary, Le Fondre, Hunt, Robson-Kanu, Pogrebnyak.

West Ham squad: Jaaskelainen, Spiegel, O'Brien, Reid, Collins, Tomkins, McCartney, Spence, Demel, Moncur, Taylor, Noble, Collison, Diarra, Lletget, Nolan, Jarvis, O'Neil, Vaz Te, Maiga, Cole.

Stoke v Southampton

Stoke manager Tony Pulis will be forced into a defensive reshuffle.

Captain Ryan Shawcross and right-back Geoff Cameron both serve one-match bans for accruing five bookings this season.

It means Matthew Upson is likely to replace Shawcross in the centre of the back four with Ryan Shotton coming in for Cameron.

Adam Lallana will be on the sidelines once again for Southampton.

The Saints captain picked up a knee problem against Reading on 8 December and has not featured since.

Manager Nigel Adkins revealed one or two unnamed players picked up knocks in the 1-1 draw with Fulham, but expects them to be available at the Britannia Stadium.

Stoke City squad: Begovic, Shotton, Huth, Upson, Wilkinson, Whelan, Nzonzi, Walters, Kightly, Etherington, Jones, Sorensen, Whitehead, Crouch, Jerome, Adam, Palacios, Owen.

Southampton squad: K Davis, Gazzaniga, Boruc, Richardson, Butterfield, Stephens, Clyne, Fox, Shaw, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Fonte, Reeves, Ward-Prowse, Do Prado, Cork, Chaplow, De Ridder, Ramirez, Schneiderlin, S Davis, Puncheon, Lee, Lambert, Rodriguez, Mayuka.

Arsenal v Newcastle, 17.30pm

Striker Olivier Giroud and midfielder Tomas Rosicky have both recovered from illness and are available for Arsenal.

Defender Andre Santos (stomach muscle) and midfielder Abou Diaby (thigh) are expected to return to training next week.

Back-up goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski is out with a foot injury.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew faces a fresh selection headache.

Midfielder Cheick Tiote returns from a one-match ban, but counterpart Vurnon Anita is out with an ankle injury sustained in the 4-3 defeat at Manchester United, while central defender Mike Williamson is suspended after collecting his fifth booking of the season at Old Trafford.

Jonas Gutierrez (knee) has joined fellow midfielders Yohan Cabaye (groin) and Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring) as well as central defender Steven Taylor (also hamstring) on the sidelines, while full-back Ryan Taylor and midfielders Dan Gosling and Haris Vuckic (all knee) are still missing.

Arsenal squad: Szczesny, Gibbs, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Sagna, Podolski, Cazorla, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arteta, Walcott, Mannone, Ramsey, Gervinho, Rosicky, Koscielny, Coquelin, Jenkinson, Arshavin.

Newcastle squad: Krul, Elliot, Harper, Simpson, Santon, Ferguson, Tavernier, Coloccini, Perch, Tiote Bigirimana, Gutierrez, Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Obertan, Ba, Cisse, Shola Ameobi, Ranger.

SUNDAY

Everton v Chelsea, 13.30

Everton midfielder Darron Gibson is hoping to prove his fitness in order to feature.

Gibson - eligible after his red card in last week's win at West Ham was overturned - was withdrawn at half-time against Wigan with a thigh strain.

Right-back Seamus Coleman could return after a knock but midfielder Marouane Fellaini completes a three-match ban and defender Tony Hibbert (hamstring) and striker Kevin Mirallas (calf) are out.

Ramires is expected to return to the Chelsea squad.

The Brazilian midfielder missed the win at Norwich with a slight knee injury and interim manager Rafael Benitez was confident he would be fit for the trip to Goodison Park.

Sunday's game is set to come too soon for defender John Terry (knee), while striker Daniel Sturridge could be omitted from the squad again ahead of his proposed move to Liverpool.

Everton squad: Howard, Mucha, Neville, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Naismith, Osman, Gibson, Pienaar, Jelavic, Heitinga, Hitzlsperger, Oviedo, Barkley, Vellios, Gueye, Duffy, Anichebe.

Chelsea squad: Cech, Azpilicueta, Ferreira, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Bertrand, Mikel, Lampard, Ramires, Mata, Oscar, Hazard, Moses, Marin, Piazon, Torres, Turnbull.

QPR v Liverpool, 16.00

QPR defender Ryan Nelsen is a doubt due to a virus.

Goalkeeper Julio Cesar (back), full-back Nedum Onuoha (hamstring) and midfielder Park Ji-sung (knee) are also doubts.

Strikers Andrew Johnson (knee) and Bobby Zamora (hip) are sidelined with long-term injuries.

Striker Luis Suarez has been playing with a swollen ankle in recent weeks but it is not expected to keep him out of the trip.

Manager Brendan Rodgers may look to make some changes after the disappointing Boxing Day defeat at Stoke and that could see Raheem Sterling regain his first-team place.

Midfielder Joe Allen may also come back into contention having been rested for the last couple of games.

QPR squad: Green, Cesar, Murphy, Cerny, Onuoha, Hill, Nelsen, Ferdinand, Mbia, Park, Fabio, Traore, Derry, Diakite, Granero, Taarabt, Hoilett, Faurlin, Wright-Phillips, Ephraim, Mackie, Cisse.

Liverpool squad: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique, Gerrard, Lucas, Allen, Sterling, Suarez, Downing, Jones, Wisdom, Carragher, Coates, Sahin, Henderson, Shelvey, Cole, Suso.

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