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Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Liverpool, Saturday, 12.45pm, Molineux.
Liverpool go into this game favourites after coming out of their derby with Everton a 2-2 draw. New gaffer Kenny Dalglish has the backing of his team as he attempts to rebuild the squad that lost to Wolves in the reverse fixture in December, under the management of Roy Hodgson. Wolves are unbeaten in their last 6 fixtures against Liverpool at home, dating back to 1979. If Liverpool do not win this game, Dalglish’s start as manager will be the worst ever by any of the men who been top dog at Anfield. Steven Gerrard sits out the match – the last of three games suspended, and defensive stalwart Jamie Carragher is also out. Milan Jovanovic is not expected to take part as he was ill this week. New Wolves signing Adam Hammill is expected to be a feature in this match. The referee is Martin Atkinson.
Squads: Wolves: Hahnemann, Mouyokolo, Foley, Jarvis, Jones, Ward, Fletcher, Ebanks-Blake, Stearman, Mujangi Bia, Vokes, Milijas, Elokobi, Hill, Hennessey, Hunt, Bent, Zubar, Batth, Doyle, Craddock, Henry, Hammill. Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson, Lucas, Meireles, Kuyt, Cole, Rodriguez, Torres, Gulacsi, Aurelio, Kyrgiakos, Poulsen, Shelvey, Babel, Ngog, Spearing, Pacheco.
Matt’s Prediction: Probably not much between the sides, however I think Liverpool may snatch a result. Liverpool Win.
COS Pyschic’s Prediction: 2-1 to Liverpool
Arsenal vs Wigan Athletic, Saturday, 3.00pm, Emirates Stadium
Arsenal lie third on the table, 2 points behind the two Manchester Clubs. This home game will be seen by the gunners as a chance to pick up a comfortable 3 points, and they are very much favourites to do so. In the reverse fixture at Wigan, a 2-2 all draw played out, and the same scoreline would give Wigan a decent chance at leaving the relegation zone, depending on other games. Arsenal will be without centre backs Sebastien Squillaci and Thomas Vermaelen, midfielder Abou Diaby and both goalkeepers Fabianski and Almunia. James McCarthy, Tom Cleverley and Victor Moses are all out for Wigan. Kevin Friend is the referee.
Squads: Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou, Clichy, Song, Fabregas, Nasri, Wilshere, Walcott, van Persie, Shea, Gibbs, Denilson, Arshavin, Rosicky, Chamakh, Eboue, Bendtner. Wigan: Al Habsi, Pollitt, G Caldwell, Gohouri, Stam, Figueroa, Alcaraz, Watson, Diame, McArthur, Thomas, N’Zogbia, McManaman, Rodallega, Lopez, Gomez, S Caldwell, Robinson, Boyce, De Ridder, Golobart, Mustoe, Kirkland, Di Santo.
Matt’s Prediction: Solid win for Arsenal.
COS Pyschic’s Prediction: Arsenal to win 4-0
Blackpool vs Sunderland, Saturday, 3.00pm, Bloomfield Road
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce is about to start life without departed Striker Darren Bent, who left for Aston Villa in a 18M deal earlier this week. 6 points divide these two sides, with Sunderland lying in 6th and Blackpool in the middle on 10th. Blackpool beat Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in December, and a win could see them move up substantially. For the home side, David Carney is still away at the Asian cup with Australia, while Marlon Harewood isn’t expected to have a role in the game. For Sunderland Lee Catermole, Danny Welbeck, John Mensah and Michael Turner all warm the touchlines. The referee is Lee Mason.
Squads: Blackpool: Kingson, Eardley, Cathcart, Crainey, Evatt, Adam, Phillips, Vaughan, Varney, Taylor-Fletcher, Campbell, Sylvestre, Grandin, Euell, Southern, Ormerod, Edwards, Baptiste, Rachubka, Keinan. Sunderland: Gordon, Mignolet, Onuoha, Bardsley, Richardson, Angeleri, Ferdinand, Bramble, Da Silva, Zenden, Riveros, Henderson, Malbranque, Elmohamady, Reid, Colback, Gyan, Adams, Cook, Reed.
Matt’s Prediction: High scoring draw.
COS Pyschic’s Prediction: Blackpool to sneak home 2-1
Everton vs West Ham, Saturday, 3.00pm, Goodison Park
Everton have 16 Premier League victories over West Ham, and haven’t beaten any other team more times. Avram Grant remains at West Ham, after Martin O’Neill said he wouldn’t be managing the London club. Scott Parker is back in the West Ham squad, while Victor Obinna is serving his suspension. Everton have seen Steven Pienaar leave for Spurs this week, and Aussie midfielder Tim Cahill is still at the Asian Cup. Hetinga and Saha are both out, and Everton are sweating on the fitness of Phil Jagielka, although the centre back has been included in the squad. The referee is Peter Walton.
Everton: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Coleman, Osman, Fellaini, Arteta, Anichebe, Beckford, Hibbert, Heitinga, Rodwell, Bilyaletdinov, Saha, Gueye, Baxter, Vaughan, Mucha. West Ham: Green, Faubert, Jacobsen, Bridge, Tomkins, Reid, Gabbidon, McCarthy, Upson, Spector, Sears, Hines, Noble, Kovac, Parker, Piquionne, Cole, Boffin, Boa Morte, Nouble, Spence.
Matt’s Prediction: Everton are looking the most likely to pick up the three points.
COS Pyschic’s Prediction: West Ham to pick up unlikely 1-0 win
Fulham vs Stoke, Saturday, 3.00pm, Cravern Cottage
The third game between these two clubs this season, having played each other in the Carling Cup as well as Fulham’s 2-0 win at the Britannia last month. The head to head is dead even between the two sides, having won two each plus the solitary coming in the Premier League. New midfield signing Steve Sidwell is set to make an appearance for Fulham, who is set to face off against former teammate John Carew, who has signed a loan deal for Stoke until the end of the season. Both players provided their services for Aston Villa at the start of the month. Fulham have goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer unavaliable due to Australia duties, while Stoke have Danny Higginbotham out through injury. The referee for today’s game is Stuart Attwell.
Fulham: Stockdale, Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Baird, Davies, Riise, Murphy, Sidwell, Etuhu, Duff, Dempsey, E Johnson, Kamara, Gera, Dembele, Etheridge, Salcido, Greening, A Johnson, Halliche. Stoke City: Begovic, Huth, Shawcross, Wilkinson, Wilson Delap, Etherington, Whitehead, Tuncay, Jones, Sorensen, Faye, Collins, Pugh, Whelan, Pennant, Walters, Fuller, Carew.
Matt’s Prediction: A draw is on the cards for these two.
COS Pyschic’s Prediction: Agreed, 0-0 Draw
Manchester United vs Birmingham, Saturday, 3.00pm, Old Trafford
Manchester United have drawn just one out of their 11 home games this season, and this is an undoubtedly a massive task for Birmingham. The league leaders are currently equal on points with Manchester City, however United have played 2 less games than their cross town neighbors. United are missing Brazilian fullback Rafael due to the ban he picked up from a red card at Tottenham last week, while injuries to Antonio Valencia and Owen Hargreaves continue to keep the pair out. Birmingham are set to be missing Scott Dann for the rest of the season, while goalkeeper Ben Foster makes he first visit to Old Trafford since his summer move south. Michael Jones will ref.
Man United: Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Lindegaard, O’Shea, Brown, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Smalling, Evans, Evra, Fabio, Nani, Obertan, Carrick, Fletcher, Scholes, Gibson, Anderson, Giggs, Bebe, Rooney, Berbatov, Hernandez, Owen. Birmingham: Foster, Carr, Johnson, Ridgewell, Murphy, Bentley, Fahey, Ferguson, Gardner, Hleb, Derbyshire, Jerome, Larsson, Taylor, Bowyer, Phillips, Zigic, Beausejour, Mutch, Jiranek.
Matt’s Prediction. The most comprehensive win of the weekend will most likely be picked up by United.
COS Pyschic’s Prediction: 4-0 to Man United
Newcastle vs Tottenham, Saturday, 3.00pm, St. James Park
Tottenham are the favourites for this away game up at Newcastle. For Spurs fans, it is a chance to get to know Steven Pienaar. For Newcastle fans, it is another game they have to go through with a very much depleted team, however they have done surprisingly well. A host of players miss the game for Newcastle including Andy Carroll, Cheik Tiote, Sol Campbell and Hatem Ben Afra. Kevin Nolan has a throat Spurs are missing Ledley King and Tom Huddlestone. Newcastle boss Alan Pardew also released winger Wayne Routledge to Queens Park Rangers this week for the rest of the season. Mark Halsey refs.
Newcastle: Harper, Krul, Simpson, Perch, Ferguson, Enrique, Coloccini, Williamson, Barton, Nolan, Gutierrez, Guthrie, Vuckic, Donaldson, Ameobi, Lovenkrands, Best, Ranger. Tottenham: Gomes, Pletikosa, Cudicini, Hutton, Corluka, Dawson, Kaboul, Gallas, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Sandro, Palacios, Jenas, Bale, Lennon, Modric, Dos Santos, Van der Vaart, Crouch, Pavlyuchenko, Keane, Defoe, Pienaar.
Matt’s Prediction: Hard to see Newcastle taking all three points, but don’t be surprised to see a draw played out at St. James.
COS Pyschic’s Prediction: 2-2 Draw
Aston Villa vs Manchester City, Saturday, 5.30pm, Villa Park
In today’s late kick off Aston Villa take on Manchester City in a match which holds the two biggest signings of January so far as Villa boast record signing Darren Bent and City play former Wolfsburg man Edin Dzeko. Bent has been subject of much speculation this week as he was unveiled at Villa Park for a club record 18M. This may not have been the opponent Bent would have chosen to make his Villa debut against though, as on Manchester United have conceded less goals than City. Aston Villa are without Luke Young, Ashley Young and Emile Heskey, while City don’t have the option of playing Mario Balotelli in what has the potential to be the game of the week.
Aston Villa: Friedel, Walker, Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, Clark, Albrighton, Reo-Coker, Petrov, Young, Downing, Bannan, Hogg, Bent, Agbonlahor, Delfouneso, Marshall, Pires, Herd, Baker. Manchester City: Hart, Given, Zabaleta, Boateng, K Toure, Kompany, Boyata, Kolarov, Lescott, Wright-Phillips, Johnson, De Jong, Vieira, Milner, Y Toure, Silva, Barry, Tevez, Dzeko, Adebayor, Jo.
Matt’s Prediction: It would be a big blow for Manchester City not not pick up all the points, but I believe they can accomplish that feat.
COS Pyschic’s Prediction: 2-1 to Man City
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