Weekend previews


A look ahead to the weekend's matches in the English Premiership

Arsenal v Man City

Visits to Arsenal have become a bind for Manchester City. The champions have not as much as scored at the Emirates in the league since DaMarcus Beasley’s consolation six years ago. Abou Diaby could be involved for Arsenal after three months out with a thigh injury.

Odds: Arsenal 7-4 Man City 9-5 Draw 9-4

QPR v Tottenham

Queens Park Rangers defender Ryan Nelsen is set to play, with no date yet set for his departure to coach Toronto, but forward Junior Hoilett is out with a hamstring problem. Emmanuel Debayor is available for Tottenham before departing for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Odds: QPR 10-3 Tottenham 6-7 Draw 13-5

Reading v WBA

New signings Hope Akpan and Daniel Carriço may make their debuts for Reading. Jason Roberts still has a hip problem and Hal Robson-Kanu and Mikele Leigertwood are both injury doubts. Steven Reid, Goran Popov and Claudio Yacob remain doubts for West Brom, while Youssouf Mulumbu is at the Africa Cup of Nations with DR Congo.

Odds: Reading 15-8 West Bromwich 7-5 Draw 9-4

Stoke v Chelsea

Asmir Begovic and Kenwyne Jones may return for Stoke after being rested last weekend. Chelseas John Terry made his comeback from injury in a development squad fixture on Thursday and is in the squad, though he will not start. Demba Ba and Frank Lampard will hope to earn recalls, but Petr Cech faces a fitness test.

Odds: Stoke 16-5 Chelsea 10-11 Draw 5-2

Norwich v Newcastle

Grant Holt should return for Norwich against Newcastle after missing the FA Cup win over Peterborough last week with hamstring trouble. Newcastle head into their first league match since the departure of top-scorer Demba Ba thankful Papiss Cissé is fit after a thigh complaint to start. New right back Mathieu Debuchy could debut.

Odds: Norwich 6-5 Newcastle 5-2 Draw 5-2

Aston Villa v Southampton

The hosts could be boosted by the return from injury of Ron Vlaar while Southampton are definitely without defender José Fonte. Confidence is low within Paul Lambert’s Villa squad but they must rouse themselves for this game given Southampton sit just one point and one place below them in 17th.

Odds: Aston Villa 8-5 Southampton 9-5 Draw 12-5

Sunderland v West Ham

Sunderland duo Carlos Cuellar and Danny Rose are out with hamstring injuries. John O’Shea and Stephane Sessegnon are doubtful, while new signing Alfred N’Diaye will only play if he receives international clearance in time. Marouane Chamakh will go straight into the West Ham squad after signing on loan from Arsenal. Full back Joey O’Brien (knee) is doubtful.

Odds: Sunderland 5-4 West Ham 11-5 Draw 9-4

Everton v Swansea

This is a contest involving two buoyant sides. Another aspect linking these sides is the reported interest in their star players, with Marouane Fellaini and Michu catching the eye of a few leading clubs during the current transfer window. Swansea, playing their third match in six days, may opt for rotation.

Odds: Everton 8-13 Swansea 5-1 Draw 3-1

Man Utd v Liverpool

This match that pits together the two most formidable strikers in the top division, Robin van Persie versus Luis Suárez. Wayne Rooney is still injured, according to Alex Ferguson, while Daniel Sturridge is on standby for his first league appearance for Liverpool since signing from Chelsea.

Odds: Man Utd 5-6 Liverpool 3-1 Draw 14-5

Fulham v Wigan

Wigan’s current league form mirrors their recent run against Fulham – one point from six games. The visitors will miss Arouna Koné, who is at the Africa Cup of Nations. Mladen Petric, Damien Duff, Mark Schwarzer and John Arne Riise should all return for Fulham after missing last weekend’s 1-1 FA Cup draw with Blackpool.

Odds: Fulham 10-11 Wigan 10-3 Draw 3-1

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