It’s been a bumper week of sport already, England going nicely in the Test Match, Cheltenham seeing the arrival of a new National Hunt star in Sprinter Sacre, an interesting week of Champions League and UEFA action, and of course the return of F1 (in which you can read our full season preview here), let’s hope a full fixture list in the EPL can top the lot!

EPL Predictions & Team News 16 / 17 Mar 2013

Everton v Manchester City – Saturday 16 March 2013 – 1245KO

These two sides remind me a lot of each other in their style of play, they are both resilient and have midfielders in Felliani and Toure who are the heartbeat of their respective teams. The real difference comes in the quality available in the forward positions where the goals have dried up for Jelevic and now Everton look a little light.  City are now in decent form with only 1 loss in 9.

Premier League Team News: Howard and Jagielka are both missing again for The Toffees whilst City have Kompany and Aguero still out.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-2
Dream Team Star Man: Carlos Tevez

Aston Villa v QPR – Saturday 16 March 2013 – 1500KO

How the TV planners have got this one wrong, this would have been a cracking game for the fans to watch but instead we have Sunderland v Norwich! Both these sides have now hit their best form of the season and hopefully both sides go flat out for all 3 points.

Premier League Team News: Villa will be as they were against Reading last week, whilst Harry Redknapp will have to decide whether to bring back Taarabt and Cesar into a Rangers side that picked up 3 points against Sunderland last time out.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-1
Dream Team Star Man: Christian Benteke

Southampton v Liverpool – Saturday 16 March 2013 – 1500KO

So Liverpool fans are back in their pomp after turning over Spurs last week, although the way some of them were banging on during the football phone-ins, you would think that they had just beaten Barcelona. Talking of Barca did the new Saints manager really compare Coutinho to Messi in his press conference on Friday? To paraphrase Roy Walker ‘He’s good, but it’s not right!

Premier League Team News: Danny Fox and Steve Davis are available for the Saints giving Pochettino a full squad to pick from. Brad Jones may continue in goal as Reina is struggling to shake off a calf injury that made him miss last week’s win over Tottenham.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Rickie Lambert

Stoke v West Bromwich Albion – Saturday 16 March 2013 – 1500KO

Does anyone know any drinking games which could liven this fixture up? It’s certainly not the fixture that makes EPL the most watched league in the world is it!! Stoke are in appalling form at the moment and have lost 4 on the bounce but will be looking at this fixture as a way to break that run.

Premier League Team News: Rob Huth sits out the last game of his suspension for the home side and the fitness of Etherington is still unclear, but Cameron Jerome should be fit for a place on the bench. Steve Clarke will start with the same Baggies side that won last week.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Romelu Lukaku

Swansea v Arsenal – Saturday 16 March 2013 – 1500KO

Arsenal will be looking to chase down the gap on the top 4, now they are officially out of Europe and only have the league as a route back into next season’s competition. They surprised a lot of people out in Munich midweek and the defensive performance was very good with Koscielny looking the part.

Premier League Team News: Ex-Arsenal schoolboy Leon Brittain has a knock and is a doubt as is Luke Moore. The Gunners have problems of their own with Wilshere sidelined for 3 weeks alongside Podolski and Sagna. Gibbs may be rested with Monreal replacing him.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 0-2
Dream Team Star Man: Santi Cazorla

Manchester United v Reading – Saturday 16 March 2013 – 1730KO

I had a pop a few weeks back when Southampton sacked Nigel Adkins, but Reading dismissing Brian McDerrmott earlier this week is an even more bizarre decision.

I can’t see what bounce Reading expect to receive going into a fixture without a permanent manager, against anyone, let alone United. I honestly thought they would have had a new boss in charge within hours. Whoever takes over will have to pick up 14 points in 9 games to give them a chance of surviving otherwise it is back to the Championship. If they do go back down and need a manager to get them back up I wonder if they would consider a Brit by the name of Brian McDerrmott??!!

Premier League Team News: United go into this one missing Jones, Nani and Scholes. The Royals will be without Kebe and Federici again.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 3-0
Dream Team Star Man: Wayne Rooney

Sunderland v Norwich – Sunday 17 March 2013 – 1300KO

Both these sides are getting slowly dragged back into a relegation scrap and between them only have 1 win in 12, but 2 wins for either by the end of the season will see them safe.

I’ve been very disappointed by Sunderland this year, they seem to throw a lot of money at signings but never really improve, more tred water.

Premier League Team News: Skipper Lee Cattermole is still injured for the Black Cats but Danny Rose should be fit enough to return to the starting XI. Norwichs’ only new problem is Pilkington who will miss out a couple of weeks action.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Steve Fletcher

Tottenham v Fulham – Sunday 17 March 2013 – 1500KO

Here’s a quick stat for you. Spurs have conceded an average of 4 goals per game since Pope Francis I took over!!

In midweek, with Gareth Bale suspended they did little to alleviate the one man team tag they have picked up recently.

It will be interesting to see how AVB bounces back from back to back defeats, especially when his defence has been torn open at will. One thing is certain today is that ex-boss Martin Jol will receive a good welcome from the North London faithful.

Premier League Team News: Only Kaboul and Sandro are left in the treatment room for Spurs with Dempsey and Lennon both now fit. Sidwell is Fulham’s main doubt.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-0
Dream Team Star Man: Jermain Defoe

Chelsea v West Ham – Sunday 17 March 2013 – 1600KO

The Hammers will be looking to complete a league double for the first time since arriving back in the EPL, but this will almost certainly be a ‘bridge’ to far. They are going to be very light in midfield with Noble, Nolan and Joey Cole all missing.

Chelsea will be buoyed after knocking out a resilient Steaua side in UEFA action in midweek and Frank Lampard is looking for his 200th goal for the Blues against his former side.

Premier League Team News: Demba Ba should replace Torres after being cup-tied in midweek. West Ham have Matt Taylor back after concussion, but as mentioned above key trio Cole, Nolan and Noble are all out.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 3-0
Dream Team Star Man: Frank Lampard

Wigan v Newcastle – Sunday 17 March 2013 – 1600KO

Wigan are a funny old side, last week they put on a show when reaching the FA Cup Semi Finals against Everton. The week before they got demolished by Liverpool and the week before that were very impressive when beating Reading. Who knows what side will turn-up this weekend!!

Newcastle defended well again when reaching the last 8 in UEFA Cup in midweek and are now looking safe in the league.

Premier League Team News: Callum McManaman misses out after limping off last Saturday whilst Miyaichi is probably out for the season after undergoing surgery. Debuchy and Gouffran return to the Newcastle squad after being cup-tied in midweek, but Cabaye is a doubt.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Arouna Kone

There we have it, a full run down of this weekend’s Premier League Preditions, Team News and your Dream Team tips! Agree or diasagree? Let me know below!!


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