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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 18 April, 2014

Premier League previews: Who will win this weekend and why

There are eight fixtures in England’s top flight this afternoon with two more to be played tomorrow.

All games kick off Saturday 3pm unless stated otherwise.

QPR v Norwich (12.45pm)

Wes Hoolahan of Norwich City. Credit: Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport

TV: Sky Sports 2

Betting: Evs (home), 12/5 (draw), 14/5 (away).

Injured: QPR – Bosingwa, Johnson. Norwich – Ruddy

After another busy deadline day, Harry Redknapp must decide which of his new recruits to include and who to leave out. Although he will be short of match practice, record signing Christophe Samba is likely to be handed his debut as the Rs attempt to shore up their backline and new striker Loic Remy will lead the line.

Chris Hughton, meanwhile, should have Luciano Becchio, who arrived from Leeds on Thursday, on the bench with Wes Hoolahan supporting Grant Holt.

Verdict: Draw

Arsenal v Stoke

Arsenal have new signing Nacho Monreal (right) available. Credit: Emilio Morenatti/AP/Press Association Images

Betting: 4/9 (home), 16/5 (draw), 7/1 (away).

Injured: Arsenal – Coquelin, Fabianski, Gibbs. Stoke – Shea, Wilson

Arsenal could throw Spanish left-back Nacho Monreal straight in at the deep end against Stoke as Kieran Gibbs is sidelined with a thigh injury. The defender arrived from Malaga on Thursday and will have to adapt to life in the Premier League fast against a physical Potters side.

He may have been expecting to leave for QPR during the window but Peter Crouch will be a Stoke player until the summer at least and should partner Jon Walters up front.

Verdict: Draw

Everton v Aston Villa

Villa boss Paul Lambert Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Betting: 4/9 (home), 16/5 (draw), 7/1 (away).

Injured: Everton – Coleman, Hibbert. Aston Villa – Dunne, Herd, Garnder, Albrighton, Petrov.

Currently lying in 19th place, Aston Villa face a tough trip to Goodison Park this afternoon. While Ron Vlaar has returned, Richard Dunne suffered yet another set-back on his road to recovery meaning Ciaran Clark continues to deputise. Paul Lambert can also call upon defensive midfielder Yacouba Sylla, who has arrived from Clermont Foot.

For the Toffees, Ireland defender Seamus Coleman is still missing with an injury that will keep him out of next week’s friendly with Poland but Darron Gibson made a successful return as a substitute on Wednesday and is in the Everton squad.

Verdict: Everton

Newcastle v Chelsea

Newcastle new boy Moussa Sissoko. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

TV: Setanta Ireland

Betting: 14/5 (home), 23/10 (draw), 21/20 (away).

Injured: Newcastle – R Taylor, Ben Arfa, Gosling, Vuckic. Chelsea – Romeu

Demba Ba is back at his old club as Chelsea travel north to take on Newcastle at St James’ Park – but he may not recognise some of the new faces which greet him. In dire need of squad depth, Alan Pardew went out and purchased a number of (French) players and reaped instant rewards with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa.

Chelsea, without the suspended Eden Hazard, will be kicking themselves after conceding two late goals against Reading but should edge out the Magpies in this one.

Verdict: Chelsea

Reading v Sunderland

Adam Le Fondre Credit: Phil Cole/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Betting: 6/4 (home), 9/4 (draw), 19/10 (away).

Injured: Reading – McCarthy, Roberts. Sunderland – Cuellar, Rose.

Buoyed by their 2-2 draw with Chelsea, the Royals welcome the visit of Sunderland. Not for the first time this season, Adam Le Fondre was sprung from the bench to rescue a result but even after his late double may find himself behind Pavel Pogrebnyak in the pecking order once again.

Martin O’Neill allowed Louis Saha to leave this week but has brought in Danny Graham from Swansea, who goes straight into the match-day squad. They have yet to win away from home in 2013 and that run could conceivably continue beyond this weekend.

Verdict: Reading

West Ham v Swansea

Michu. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Betting: 7/5 (home), 23/10 (draw), 2/1 (away).

Injured: West Ham – McCartney, Collins, Potts. Swansea – Vorm, Agustien, Taylor

After beginning the new year with two wins on the bounce, West Ham are five games without one and need to stop the rot against Swansea. Andy Carroll made his comeback in midweek but isn’t guaranteed a starting place ahead of Marouane Chamakh.

Swansea, who went through January unbeaten, have lost Danny Graham and will be banking on the rich vein of goalscoring form can continue from their buy of the season Michu at Upton Park.

Verdict: Swansea

Wigan v Southampton

Wigan fans will welcome Paul Scharner’s return. Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

Betting: 5/4 (home), 23/10 (draw), 9/4 (away).

Injured: Wigan – Alcaraz, Pollitt, Lopez, Watson, Ramis, Miyaichi, Crusat. Southampton – Do Prado, Fonte.

Former favourite Paul Scharner is back with Wigan after agreeing to return on loan from Hamburg and could be given his second debut. The Latics currently find themselves in the drop zone but a win would put them level on points with the Saints who sit two places above in 16th.

Mauricio Pochettino’s career in England has started brightly and his players will have taken confidence from the narrow defeat to Manchester United.

Verdict: Draw

Fulham v Manchester United (5.30pm)

Dimitar Berbatov, who is out injury, is surrounded by Manchester United players last weekend. Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

TV: ESPN

Betting: 9/2 (home), 3/1 (draw), 8/13 (away).

Injured: Fulham – Berbatov, Diarra, Sidwell, Richardson, Davies, Frei. Manchester United – Fletcher, Young.

These two sides meet for the second time in a week after Manchester United put four past Fulham to knock them out of the FA Cup fourth round.

This time, the Cottagers are without their talisman, former United striker Dimitar Berbatov, who has suffered a hamstring injury meaning Hugo Rodallega will most likely be tasked with leadin the line.

After scoring twice against Southampton, Wayne Rooney is set to continue behind Robin van Persie while Rio Ferdinand will start at centre-half.

Verdict: Manchester United

Sunday

West Brom v Tottenham (1.30pm)

Odemwingie will not feature for the Baggies. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Archive/Press Association Images

TV: Sky Sports 1

Betting: 12/5 (home), 12/5 (draw), 23/20 (away).

Injured: West Brom – Gera, Thorn. Tottenham – Kaboul, Sandro.

Tottenham travel to the Hawthorns on Sunday afternoon eyeing their first league win since New Year’s Day. Two draws, against Norwich and Manchester United, added to by the FA Cup defeat to Leeds made for a disappointing January but they remain in fourth place – one point ahead of Everton.

West Brom boss Steve Clarke has left Peter Odemwingie out of the squad after the striker tried to force a move to QPR on deadline day. Leading scorer Romelu Lukaku is favourite to get the nod as a lone striker but Shane Long grabbed an opportunity to stake his claim with a goal in the loss to Everton.

Verdict: Tottenham

Man City v Liverpool (4pm)

Daniel Sturridge. Credit: John Walton/EMPICS Sport

TV: Sky Sports 1

Betting: 17/20 (home), 13/5 (draw), 16/5 (away).

Injured: Manchester City – Maicon, Kompany, Richards. Liverpool – Kelly, Flanagan.

Roberto Mancini will be desperate for Manchester City to get back to winning ways on Sunday after the 0-0 draw with QPR widened the gap at the top to seven points.

They must do without the services of captain Vincent Kompany, however, as the Belgian is out with a calf problem. The Toure brothers are still on international duty while Mario Balotelli has departed for AC Milan.

Liverpool, coming into the fixture on the back of a 2-2 draw with Arsenal, could be unchanged from the team that started at the Emirates.

Verdict: Manchester City

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