Everton vs. Man Utd
Everton might fear a major backlash, but the ingredients aren’t there to suggest that United can immediately bounce back from Sunday’s mauling in a tricky fixture. Sir Alex should look to settle down on a regular lineup – especially at the back, and hence Vidic, Jones and Hernandez should be reinstalled into the starting lineup. Moyes, meanwhile, would look to regulate a haphazard season at Goodison Park. Rooney, of course, will be in for a hostile reception…
Chelsea vs. Arsenal
Torres will be back after his suspension, as Chelsea look for a strong riposte after last week’s defeat. Chelsea’s gutsy 9-men performance last week might not have provided tangible returns on the league table, but it speaks volumes of the ethos that Villas-Boas has created at the Bridge. The QPR loss was an anomaly, Chelsea have definitely found their groove over the past couple of months. Drogba – Arsenal’s tormentor in chief – is suspended, much to the Gunners’ relief. Arsenal have their ‘Captain Marvel’ Van Persie to thank for their recent wins, and with Vermaelen returning midweek, Wenger must be optimistic. Ramsey needs to put in a stout show and announce his coming-of-age, while Arteta and Song need to pull up their socks as well. It’s a battle of the midfields, and Chelsea should dominate that particular area…
Man City vs. Wolves
Man City are ‘the team’ in England now, courtesy the battering of their neighbours at Old Trafford, and having thrashed the same side away in the Carling Cup, they have an ideal opportunity to rubberstamp themselves as the team to beat. Balotelli can cement his place with another towering show, while Aguero will look to continue his scoring run, as Mancini keeps an eye on Villareal.
Norwich vs Blackburn
Canaries have a developed a settled lineup however Holt’s equaliser – in a hard-earned draw at Anfield – last week could force a rethink. Blackburn lie at the bottom, but must be buoyed by their Carling Cup extra time win over Newcastle. However Norwich’s team ethics should topple Blackburn’s incoherence.
Sunderland vs. Villa
Sunderland’s second victory of the season against Bolton was colossal, but uncertainty still masks their side. Villa are on the back of their second loss on the bounce after an unbeaten start to the season and would look to Bent to shine on his return to the Stadium of light.
Swansea vs. Bolton
Graham is finally reproducing his Championship form, scoring in each of the last three games, and his goal-threat will be vital, as Bolton look to prevent their stuttering ship from sinking – relying on N’Gog and Petrov for attacking returns.
Wigan vs. Fulham
Wigan’s have lost each of their last six games and in need a performance from their “massive talent” Mosses, however Rodallega’s return bodes well. Fulham continue to struggle for consistency, and would look to benefit from a decent ensemble of strikers.
West Brom vs. Liverpool
Liverpool still can’t settle down on their playing personnel and hence the results are inconsistent. Gerrard’s position hasn’t been located by Kenny as yet; tracking down a stable lineup would bear fruit. Suarez is off a staggering performance against Stoke in the Carling Cup, and with West Brom looking to deal with Long’s loss, a comfortable win is
just what the doctor orders for Liverpool.
Spurs vs. QPR
Van Der Vaart has started replicating last season’s form, and he along with the glittering attacking talent
at White Hart Lane, would be waiting
in anticipation as QPR decide upon
which ball to flaunt, from an archetypical mixed bag.
Stoke vs. Newcastle
Newcastle face another test of mettle at fortress Brittania, looking to rebound from their first loss of the season in the Carling Cup. Ameobi and Ben Arfa are fit and must be knocking on the first team’s door. Stoke’s further enhancement of home form, can see them soar further up the top half.