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City, Chelsea and Arsenal target winning return as Liverpool and United hope to maintain lead

Jose Mourinho defeated Burnely at Turf Moor last season and will be eyeing a second successive victory there on Saturday afternoon. Courtesy photo.

Brighton vs Chelsea
The American Express Community Stadium
Saturday, 03:30pm
Referee: Jonathan Moss.

Chelsea will be hoping they can finally get back to winning was at the travel to Brighton in the early kick off on Saturday.

The defending champions have not won a game in 90 minutes this year and their latest triumph came in the FA Cup replay by way of penalties against championship side Norwich.

The blues have drawn their last two league games which has seen them fall to fourth position, three points behind second placed Man United.

Captain Garry Cahill and Cesc Fabregas will be assessed to see if they have fully recovered from their respective injuries but the Blues will have to do without both Pedro Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata who were sent off against Norwich on Wednesday.

Brighton who lost to Chelsea 2-0 in the first leg will be hungry for victory as they are also winless this year and keep on getting dragged in the relegation scrap.

The Seagulls who are still without long term absentees Steve Sidwell and Isaiah Brown find the selves only three points from the relegation zone.

It is a winnable fixture for Chelsea but with the team struggling for goals at the moment, the Blues may be in for one hell of a day on Saturday afternoon as Brighton is expected to try and frustrate them(Chelsea) for as long as they can.

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace
Emirates Stadium
Saturday, 06:00pm
Referee: Chris Kavanagh.

Arsenal who lost to Bournemouth on Sunday and have not tested victory in all competitions since the 3-2 victory away to their hosts on Saturday in the last fixture of last year will be hoping the same fortune against a similar opponent can befall them again.

With some of the attention focused on the transfer window as the Gunners’ faithfuls are waiting to see who departs and who comes in, Arsene Wenger will be targeting maximum points against a side they have never lost to at the Emirates.

With Sanchez expected to have finalized his move to Manchester united by Saturday, the Gunners will also be without the injured Olivier Giroud and Nacho Monreal but are expecting Mesut Ozil, Aisley Mitland Niles and vice captain Laurent Koscielny to return after overcoming their injury issues.

Man City lost their first game in the league against Liverpool last Sunday. Courtesy photo.

Palace on the other side have their own injury concerns as Jeffry Schulupp, Andros Townsend, Scott Dann, James Pouncheon, Muhamadou Sakho, Conner Wickham and James Ward are all unavailable but the only good news for Roy Hogdson’s side is that midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has recovered from the Knock he sustained on the weekend against Burnely.

Palace seem to have started picking up vital momentum that may see them above the relegation zone come the end of the season but a win at the Emirates where only one away win has been registered in close to a year’s time may be asking too much of the Eagles but with the quality that Hogdson’s men posses, a point may be in their reach.

Burnely vs Manchester United
Turf Moor
Saturday, 06:00pm
Referee: Mike Dean.

After a moral boosting win against Stock City on Monday to cub City’s lead at the top to 12 points, Man United will be hoping they can trim the deficit further to nine on Saturday afternoon as City in the later kickoff.

Mourinho and his charges who are still without captain Micheal Carrick, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and defender Eric Bailly will be hoping they can win a second successive victory at Turf Moore for the first time in the premier league.

Last season, The Red Devils came out 2-0 winners here and with some of their attacking footballers on song of late, something close to last campaign’s scoreline can get the job done against a side that has managed only one goal in the last six meetings of the sides at Turf Moor.

Burnely who last won a game in all competitions on 12th December will still be without first choice goalkeeper Tom Heaton and midfielder Rob Brady but Chris Wood, Steven Ward and Scott Arfield are all available after recovering from injuries.

With the gap between them and City reducing for the first time in months, United know their is no room for slip ups and will try and push Burnely to the limits on Saturday.

Everton vs West Brom
Goodison Park
Saturday, 06:00pm
Referee: Stuart Attwell.

Everton are in dare need of redemption after going five games without testing victory in the league and suffering an early elimination from the FA Cup at the hands of sworn enemies Liverpool in the third round.

Being only seven points off relegation, Sam Allerdyce will surely know that his team is not safe and will target all three points against a West Brom side that has defeated them at Goodison only once since 2010.

West Brom on the other side will be beeming with lots of confidence after registering their first win under Allan Perdew last weekend and breaking the 20 match winless run they had endured August.

Everton are expected to be with out four senior players as Ramiro Funes mori, Lieghton Baines, Morten Stekelenburg, and Seamous Coleman are all still out injured but summer signing Micheal Keane is expected to feature after recovering from a foot injury.

West brom on the other hand have no new injury concerns but will still be without Nacer Chadli and James Morrison who are long term absentees.

Leicester City vs Watford
King Power Satdium
Saturday, 06:00pm

Referee: Lee Probert.

Leicester who have had a mixed run of form in their last 10 games will be entertaining a Watford side that has seen their excellent start to the season turn into a night mare of sorts lately. Liecester are now on a four game unbeaten run after a run one win in six prior to that.

Fortunes at the King power seem to have changed ever since Claud Puel took over from Criage Shakespeare and has over seen a rise from the relegation zone to mid table but matter of fact that only 11 points separate them from the drop, Leicester should clearly know that the job is not even close to completion.

The Foxes are still expected to be without 2015/16 league winning center pack pairing of Robert Huth and captain Wes Morgan as they are both still out injured but will also be boosted by the news that Danny Simpson and Matty James are available for selection after injuries.

Watfod who have only one win to brag about in their last 10 league games will still be with out Tom Clevery, Kiko Femina, Isaac Success, Nathan Chalobah, Craig Cathcart, and Tommie Hoban.

The Hornets are also still sweating over the fitness of several other players including Younus Kabul, Michel Britos and Will Hughes who have all returned from injuries.

Stock City vs Huddersfield Town
BET 365 Stadium
Saturday, 06:00pm

Referee: Mike Oliver.

Stock City’s run of one win in their last eight league games has seen the team drop into relegation and in the process, Mark Hughes fired.

New Manager Paul Lambert will know how big a job he has got on his hands but having been involved in similar instances with Aston villa not long ago, he can be confident he can stir the Potters to safety.

Alavaro Morata will miss in action as Chelsea travel to the American express Community stadium on Saturday due to suspension. Courtesy photo.

First he will have to negotiate past a Huddersfield Town side who are also in bad need of points having gone five in the league minus testing victory.

Stock will play host to the Terriers in the top flight for the first time in over 40 years. Stock have defenders Ryan Showcross and Glen Johnson returning from injury as well as midfielder Eric Pieters as they have a near to full strength side at disposal.

The away side on the other hand are still without Jon Stankovic and Elias Kachunga. The trio of Chris Lowe, Martin Cranie and Colin Quaner are all set to reurn from injury.

The last time Stock hosted a top flight meeting between the sides was back in 1971 and the home side won 1-0.
The first meeting between the sides culminated into a 1-1 draw and with a repeat of the same scoreline being viewed by the neutrals as a fair enough result for both side, am sure non of the two sides would be proud of it.

West Ham vs AFC Bournemouth
London Stadium
Saturday, 06:00pm

Referee: Martin Atkinson.

Wets Ham United are set to welcome back Javier Hernandez, Cheikhou Kouyate and Winston Ried this weekend as they are all back from injury but the Hammers will still have to do without several senior players including Diafra Sakho, Michel Antonio, Edmilson Fernandez, Jose Fonte. Andy Carroll is a doubt and will be assessed.

David Moyes are enjoying their best run of form currently as they have gone six matches in all competitions minus testing defeat and last lost a game in the league on the 23rd of December.

Their opponents Bournemouth have gone over two months without a win away from home in the league but will be fancying their chances on a ground they have won once in two attempts.

Manchester City vs Newcastle United
Etihad Stadium
Saturday, 08:30

Referee: Paul Tierney.

Manchester City lost their first game in the league this season in the last round as they fell 3-4 at Liverpool and will be eager to put their tittle charge back on track as they host a Newcastle side desperately getting closer to relegation.

A run of four games with one win and two goals scored has seen the Toons get to with in three points of relegation despite them winning on their last two travels.

Against an angry City side, Newcastle will surely have limited chances going into this one and a run of one win away to City in the last 27 years will not do so much to boost their moral.

Man City will still be without captain Vincent Kompany, and fellow defender Benjamin Mendy plus striker Gabriel Jesus for the match.

Newcastle have their own inujry issues to worry about as both defender Chancel Mbemba and striker Dwight Gayle are major doubts. Jesus Gamez and Florian Lejeune are still out but the only good news is that striker Alexander Mitrovic is expected to feature.

Southampton vs Tottenham
St.Marys Stadium
Sunday, 07:00pm

Referee: Kevin Friend.

Southampton will be without Charlie Austin and Maya Yoshida when they host Spurs at the St.Marys stadium.

The Saints are looking for their first win in the last 10 league games and will still be incensed by the fact that a late handball goal against Watfrod denied them victory in their last league outing.

Spurs who have won five of their last six games in all competitions will come here full of confidence having won all two of their last visits to the St.marys.

Captain Hugo Lloris is expected to return after over coming illness but the trio of Danny Rose, Tobby Alderwiereld and Harry Winks are still out injured.

With Southampton having last defeated Spurs at home in 2005 and looking at both teams’ latest form, the Saints will surely do with a point in this one.

Arsene Wenger has never lost a game to Crystal palace at the Emirates and will be hoping Alexis Sanchez’s transfer does not distract his side against the Eagles on Saturday. Courtesy photo.

Swansea City vs Liverpool
Liberty Stadium
Monday, 11:00pm

Referee: Neil Swarbrick.

Liverpool will surely be on cloud nine after becoming the first time to defeat Manchester City in the league but the players will know that their is no room for complacency when they travel to south Wales to take on Swansea City.

Swansea have been at the foot of the table for quite a while now but they will know a win on Monday may see that changing provided the results on Saturday and Sunday go their way.

Carlos Carvalhal has won one, drawn one and lost one in his first three league games and has some how installed belief in a side that seemed to have lost it before the Portuguese arrived at the Liberty and with only two points separating them from 19th placed West Brom, they will surely give their all in this one as time is running out for them,

Liverpool registered their biggest win in the league this season against Swansea in the first leg but although such a result is highly in doubt to happen again, the Red will be fancying their chances of getting another three points that has seen them not loose a single game in all competitions since the 4-1 loss at Spurs in October.

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