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Arsenal v Norwich – Saturday 13 April 2013 – 1500KO
Arsenal have hunted down their noisy London neighbours and stand only one point behind Spurs for the race for Champions League football with a game in hand. This is a must win for them especially with Spurs not playing this weekend due to Chelsea being in FA Cup action.
Premier League Team News: The Gunners should be boosted by England ‘stars’ Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott returning to the squad, however the in-form Tomas Rosicky is doubtful with a hamstring strain. Norwich are likely to start with Lee Camp in goal, after Mark Bunns injury last weekend. The good news is that first choice keeper John Ruddy played 90 minutes of reserve team football during the week.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-0
Dream Team Star Man: Santi Carzola
Aston Villa v Fulham – Saturday 13 April 2013 – 1500KO
Both of these sides are on a decent run of form at the moment and Villa have risen to the dizzy heights of 16th, climbing above Sunderland in the process. Unfortunately for them, their poor goal difference means they will have to survive the drop by getting more points than Wigan or Sunderland.
Premier League Team News: Darren Bent is nearing full fitness after making an appearance from the bench last weekend for Villa, who have no other new problems. The Cottagers have big problems in the centre of the park with Sidwell suspended and Dejagah joining Diarra on the treatment table. They will be hoping Eyong Enoh passes a last fitness test.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-0
Dream Team Star Man: Andreas Wiemann
Everton v QPR– Saturday 13 April 2013 – 1500KO
Spurs’ late equaliser last weekend was as bitter blow for Everton’s Champions League hopes, and they need to put a final nail in QPR’s coffin this week to keep them hanging on to Spurs’ coat-tails as 3 points will put them within a win of the Coys. Rangers, by my reckoning, need to pick up 13 points from 8 games to have an outside chance of surviving!
Premier League Team News: The Toffees are strengthened with both Pienaar and Felliani returning to the squad after serving suspensions. Rangers’ task is made harder with Bobby Zamora starting a 3 match ban.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-1
Dream Team Star Man: Kevin Mirallas
Reading v Liverpool – Saturday 13 April 2013 – 1500KO
The last thing you need when you are desperate for points is your Goalkeeper to suffer from a old fashion case of ‘lack of bottle’ and that’s exactly what happened last weekend. Reading are as good as gone now and Liverpool have very little to play for except pride, so this fixture becomes a little dull!
Premier League Team News: Kebe and Apkan are both out for The Royals this weekend. Liverpool will start with the same side that drew against West Ham last weekend.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-2
Dream Team Star Man: Luis Suarez
Southampton v West Ham United – Saturday 13 April 2013 – 1500KO
These two sides are now pretty much safe which is always a great achievement by teams promoted in the previous season. However both will be doing all they can to win this with prize money up for grabs as well as the chance of grabbing 10th place.
Premier League Team News: Illness has swept through St Mary’s this week and Shaw, Puncheon and the in-form Jay Rodriguez are all doubtful. The Hammers still have a few problems of their own with Joey Cole, Mark Noble and Winston Reid still out. Andy Carroll will return though after being ineligible last weekend.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-2
Dream Team Star Man: Rickie Lambert
Newcastle v Sunderland – Sunday 14 April 2013 -1200KO
At last, a fixture with some sort of excitement attached to it this weekend! This tasty local derby is spiced up by the fact that the Geordies could help put Sunderland in further trouble at the foot of the table. Although the saving grace for the Makems is that they can’t drop into the bottom three this weekend as Wigan are playing in the FA Cup.
Premier League Team News: Newcastle hope to have Taylor and Ben Arfa fit to start this weekend. Debuchy and Tiote could also feature at some point. Paolo di Canio’s hand is weakened with Craig Gardner being suspended after picking up 10 bookings. Danny Graham could be restored to the starting XI, ahead of Connor Wickham.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Papiss Cisse
Stoke v Manchester United – Sunday 14 April 2013 – 1405KO
I can’t imagine Sir Alex being too happy about last Mondays derby performance when City pretty much ran the show at Old Trafford for the second season on the trot, and they will come up against a Stoke side who are now in a relegation fight after a dismal run which stretches back to the turn of the year.
Premier League Team News: Glenn Whelan is fit to return to The Potters squad after injury and Tony Pulis is hopeful both Etherington and Wilson who were forced off through injury last weekend will take some part. Ashley Young is out for two weeks with an ankle injury sustained against Manchester City. Jonny Evans does return to bolster the United defence though.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Asmir Begovic
There we have it, my predictions for a reduced premier league fixture list this weekend, let’s hope the relegation and champions league races keep on going!