Saturday 22nd December 2012
Wigan vs Arsenal (12:45)
Wigan find themselves in the bottom 3 this weekend, and will be wanting to climb out as soon as possible, to avoid a really tough battle to stay up. Their home performances haven’t been too great and they will be wanting to convert some of their draws to wins, however this game is unlikely to see them get any points. Arsenal have the third best goal difference in the league, compared to Wigan’s 3rd worst, so I can see this game getting messy, much like Arsenal’s game against Reading did on Monday.
Man City vs Reading (15:00)
Man City are currently 6 points off of top place, and if they really are serious about winning back-to-back titles, then they cannot afford to do anything but win big here. Reading are bottom of the league now after 6 straight losses, where they have conceded 17 goals, and things aren’t looking great. Like Man City, Reading are also 6 points off a place they are targeting, and that is Premier League safety.
Newcastle vs QPR (15:00)
QPR have had a good run of late, picking up 6 of their 10 points in the last 4 games (3 draws, 1 win), and this is quite probably due to new manager Harry Redknapp’s influence. QPR will be looking at this fixture as one they can win as Newcastle have lost 6 of their last 7 games and are in free fall. QPR are yet to win away from home this season, but this could be the game.
Southampton vs Sunderland (15:00)
This match sees 17th play 16th respectively, although Southampton do have a game in hand. Southampton have won, drawn, and lost the same amount of games at home this season (3), but will be looking to have won more after this fixture. Sunderland have won only 1 away game, and have lost 3 of their last 4 games, so morale will be low.
Tottenham vs Stoke (15:00)
Stoke are having a great run, having not lost in 7 games, but Tottenham are also playing well, winning 4 of their last 5 games! Will Stoke finally be beaten, or will their tough defence hold out against 4th place Tottenham. Tottenham have won the majority of their home games this season and they know that if they get a goal early on then the game will play out to their advantage. The longer they wait, the tougher it will get!
West Brom vs Norwich (15:00)
Norwich have gone 10 games unbeaten, in an incredible run that has seen them climb up to 8th, whereas West Brom have had an awful run of 3 losses and a draw, seeing them drop to 7th. Form says that Norwich should win this, but we know form isn’t always a great indicator to the result. West Brom have the ability to make this 7 wins from 10 home games and I think that is what will happen here.
West Ham vs Everton (15:00)
West Ham have a very good home record, only losing 2 of 9 games here, so they will be hoping to beat a strong Everton side, who will be without their best player Fellaini. Everton have had trouble finishing games off recently which has led to 7 draws in their last 10 games. Both teams will be gunning for a win here, and both sets of fans will think it is possible. Who will be the happiest?
Liverpool vs Fulham (17:30)
This match see’s 12th host 13th in a game that could see Fulham overtake Liverpool, should they win. This is an unlikely result, as Fulham have won only 1 of 9 away games this season, conceding 18 goals! Liverpool’s home record isn’t much better though, scoring just over 1 and conceding just over 1 per game.
Sunday 23rd December 2012
Swansea vs Man Utd (13:30)
Swansea have lost their last two games, and Man Utd have won their last 5. Utd also top the table by 6 points and will not want to let this comfortable gap shrink. Swansea may be playing nice football, but they rely too much on Michu to get their points, so I think in this game the dominance and quality of the away side will shine through.
Chelsea vs Aston Villa (16:00)
Chelsea really need to win this game, as if they don’t they could see themselves slip into 7th, albeit they would have a game in hand, but it is still unacceptable for a team of their strength. Aston Villa haven’t lost in 5 games, the last being a great 3-1 away win against a dominant Liverpool, which shows promise that Villa can sit back and defend against better teams, then attack and score on the break, using the incredible “Bentekkers” of Benteke.