After two weeks of controversial World Cup Qualifiers and horse placenta injections we’re back to the Premier League grindstone as Liverpool kick off the weekend against Man City, United play Everton and Sunderland host Arsenal.
Liverpool v Manchester City 12:45, Anfield
With just one win in their last five, Liverpool host Man City at Anfield who have drawn their last five. City have been one team tipped to take Liverpool’s top four spot, and here is their chance to prove a point. Liverpool have been handed a major boost ahead of this one as four of their starting eleven travelled to the magical Serbian horse placenta treatment. Glen Johnson, Yossi Benayoun, Fabio Aurelio and Albert Riera are all expected to be involved now, as well as Steven Gerrard. Fernando Torres won’t be included, but Jamie Carragher returns from suspension.
For City, Robinho makes his long awaited return to the side after getting injured in an international against Brazil in September. Craig Bellamy has overcome an injury to make the squad, but Martin Petrov is out with a knee injury.
Prediction: Liverpool are bolstered with the return of some big names, home win.
Chelsea v Wolverhampton Wanderers 15:00, Stamford Bridge
Chelsea haven’t conceded at home since the opening day of the season, as Mick McCarthy and co. travel to Stamford looking to end to their run without a win. Chelsea are without dynamic duo Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, as well as Michael Ballack, Jose Boswinga and Deco. Gael Kakuta, the player at the centre of the poaching young players row, is expected to start on the bench.
Wolves are pleased to have defender Kevin Foley back after knee ligament damage. The Irishman has only made three appearances this season. Ronald Zubar is a doubt, while Michael Mancienne is ineligible to play against his parent club. Kevin Doyle is expected to start from the bench after the French game midweek.
Prediction: Despite missing Lampard and Drogba, a home win.
Sunderland v Arsenal 15:00, Stadium of Light
In-form and injury hit Arsenal visit the Stadium of Light which hasn’t seen a loss in five games. Marton Fulop returns to the number one spot in place of Craig Gordon who broke his arm against Spurs two weeks ago. Fraizer Campbell should start with Jones sitting out the second of his three match ban. Michael Turner is suspended, but Lorik Cana returns to the centre field.
Arsenal are without Robin van Persie who suffered an ankle injury on international duty. Kieron Gibbs is also out, but England winger Theo Walcott returns from a knee problem. Nicklas Bendter is still short of fitness, but Denilson, Jack Wilshere, Carlos Vela and Armand Traore all return to the fold.
Prediction: Losing RVP is a big blow, but Arsenal should have enough firepower in Fabregas, Eduardo and company.
Manchester United v Everton 17:30, Old Trafford
Man Utd have won five and drawn one of their six home matches this season and face an Everton side who have lost only one of their last six fixtures in the Premier League. Nemanja Vidic is the main returnee for Utd after overcoming a thigh injury. Rio Ferdinand is out however, along with John O’ Shea who limped out of the Stade de France.
Everton are without the suspended Diniyar Bilyaletdinov. Tim Cahill is a doubt after returning from national duty with Australia, as David Moyes faces a selection headache with no Louis Saha, Jack Rodwell, Leon Osmon, Phil Neville or Steven Pienaar.
Prediction: Man Utd will have too much firepower for Everton to handle.
Saturday 21st November 2009
Birmingham City v Fulham – Home
Burnley v Aston Villa – Away
Hull City v West Ham United – Away
Sunday 22nd November 2009
Bolton Wanderers v Blackburn Rovers – Away
Tottenham Hotspur v Wigan Athletic – Home
Stoke City v Portsmouth – Home