Talking of jokes, Southampton sacked manager Nigel Adkins on Friday proving there is no loyalty, or even reality left in the Boardrooms up and down the land. Personally I think (and everyone else in the country) that this is a discrace, and taking a team from near the bottom of Division One, up to the Championship and then keeping their heads above water in the Premier League deserves a little bit more credit!
Liverpool v Norwich – Saturday 19 January 2013 – 15.00 KO
The shock coming out of South America this week is that Luis Suarez, is a diver, personally I would never have known. There is no truth in the rumour that he will miss today’s game so he can appear as a late replacement for Keith Harris and Orville and tonight’s edition of Splash!
Norwich for their part are showing a lot of intent in the transfer market and are putting bids in all over the place for strikers at the moment, though you have to wonder if they are in and low to make the fans happy, time will tell! Danny Graham of Swansea and Gary Hooper have already been looked at this week for £5 million bids for each.
Premier League Team News: Danny Sturridge is pushing for a start for Liverpool who still have doubts over Luis Enrique. The Canaries now have Grant Holt fully fit (is there such a thing? – Joe) after his hamstring injury and Jonny Howson returns from illness.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-1
Dream Team Star Man: Steve Gerrard
Manchester City v Fulham – Saturday 19 January 2013 – 15.00 KO
I thought City played positively at Arsenal last week and that is when they are at their most impressive. A win here is imperative if they want to put pressure on their neighbours who don’t play until tomorrow.
Fulham often concede a few goals on their travels, so will set up slightly more defensively than usual.
Premier League Team News: Kompany is eligible to play after his red card against The Gunners was rescinded. Aguero and Nasri are both in contention to play after injury and suspension but Kolo and Yaya Toure are both in South Africa on international duty. Berbatov returns after being rested in the FA Cup in midweek for Fulham who have no other new problems.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 3-0
Dream Team Star Man: David Silva
Newcastle v Reading – Saturday 19 January 2013 – 15.00 KO
I’m not sure at the start of the season many people would have had this down as a relegation battle, but that is exactly where both these teams find themselves.
There will no doubt be a few Geordie fans relishing this cold snap of weather just so they can get their faces on Match of the Day with their tops off, whilst turning the colour of an Oompa Loompa similar to their fellow city mates from Geordie Shore.
Premier League Team News: Coloccini is still available to play for Newcastle and could be partnered at the back by a returning Steven Taylor. Ameobi is also available after suspension. Stephen Kelly could make his Royals debut after signing from Fulham.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-0
Dream Team Star Man: Pappis Cisse
Swansea v Stoke – Saturday 19 January 2013 – 15.00 KO
With the amount of snow that has fallen in South Wales in the past couple of days, it is amazing this game is still on, although the snow ball fights between fans may actually be more interesting than the game itself.
I’m backing Stoke to get back to winning ways after only 1 win in their last 7, against a Swans side that may have one eye on midweeks Capital One Cup fixture against Chelsea.
Premier League Team News: Danny Graham is in the squad for Swansea despite a rumours of a move away to Sunderland, Newcastle or Norwich, however Agustien is out injured for a month with an ankle problem. Stoke have doubts over Wilkinson and Shotton, but Begovic and Adam will return after being rested for FA Cup duty in midweek.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 0-1
Dream Team Star Man: Jon Walters
West Ham v QPR – Saturday 19 January 2013 – 15.00 KO
‘Arry Redknapp joins such managerial greats as Greenwood, Nicholson and Wenger in making it to managing in 100 London derbies, and will be buoyed by the work ‘Uncle’ Tony has done in securing Loic Remy to the QPR squad on a four year deal. Let’s hope he has some sort of release clause built into that contract as I’m not sure many clubs could afford £70k a week in the Championship.
West Ham for their part have a few players coming back from injury and impressed in midweek, despite a loss to Phil Dowd’s Manchester United in FA Cup.
Premier League Team News: Hammers have O’Brien, Joey Cole and Mark Noble all back for this fixture but doubts remain over James Collins, whilst joint top scorer Maiga is away with Mali. Loic Remy will be thrown straight in to EPL action by Rangers, who have doubts over Granero, and Diakite is at African Cup of Nations. Hoilett should return from injury.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-1
Dream Team Star Man: Matt Jarvis
Wigan v Sunderland – Saturday 19 January 2013 – 15.00 KO
Wigan suffered bad news last week with key defender Ivan Ramis being ruled out for the rest of the season. He had looked impressive so far and seems to have an eye for goal. Sunderland will be looking to continue their recent good form and could go 11th today if results go their way, which from where they were before Christmas is very good going.
Premier League Team News: Ramis is out for Wigan along with Alcaraz, however new midfield signings Espinoza and Henriquez are pushing for starts. O’Shea and Fletcher should return after resting as a precaution in midweek. Lee Cattlemole may continue his comeback from injury by appearing on the bench.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Steven Fletcher
West Bromwich Albion v Aston Villa – Saturday 19 January 2013 –17.30 KO
If you compared the EPL to race horses you’d probably have Manchester United as a great champion such as Frankel, Chelsea under Jose as a hard working National Hunt horse like Kauto Star and Villa on this seasons showing as a Tesco’s Burger. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist).
West Brom will be hoping to improve on their recent form, despite playing well they haven’t picked up the points that they deserve, whilst Villa desperately need a morale inducing win as they go looking to turn over a deficit against Bradford in the cup next week.
Premier League Team News: Fortune, Long and Yacob will be given as long as possible to see if they can return from their knocks, whilst Villa will have Dutch International and skipper Ron Vlaar back after a long lay-off. Joe Bennett may also return after illness. Darren Bent is very doubtful.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Ron Vlaar
Chelsea v Arsenal – Sunday 20 January 2013 – 13.30 KO
Another Super Sunday, and a good one at that!
If this game was being played in North London you may feel Chelsea would be a touch more confident going into it, especially after letting a 2 nil lead slip away against Southampton in midweek.
Arsenal should be buoyed by the fact Walcott has finally signed his new deal with the club, but need to improve on last week’s display against City if they are to remain on the tails of Tottenham for 4th place.
Premier League Team News: Terry could start his first game for two months but will have a late check on his knee problem, whilst Chelsea have Moses and Mikel away on International Duty. The Gunners also have Gervinho away and are missing Arteta. Koscielny returns after sitting out his suspension in the midweek cup win against Swansea.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-2
Dream Team Star Man: Jack Wilshere
Tottenham v Manchester United – Sunday 20 January 2013 – 16.00 KO
Spurs go into this fixture looking for their first double over United in over 20 years after their end to end win at Old Trafford earlier in the season. However they do face an in form Robin Van Persie who has been chief tormentor against Spurs in his last 10 fixtures for Arsenal and United with 5 goals and 5 assists.
Premier League Team News: Sandro is out for the season with a knee injury, which should allow Scott Parker to return to first XI duty, whilst it is likely Spurs will revert to 1 up front as Adebayor has joined up with the Togo party for ANC duty. Jonny Evans and Ashley Young are out for United who should ring the changes after resting key personnel against West Ham in midweek.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-3
Dream Team Star Man: Robin van Persie
Southampton v Everton – Monday 21 January 2013 – 20.00 KO
As I eluded to earlier, Southampton have made a decision as baffling as Chelsea’s earlier in the season and appointed someone whose names name sounds a bit like the bloke from CHiPs in the late 70s/early 80s. In case you don’t know who he is (the Saints manager, not Erik Estradas character) he is perhaps best known by English fans as the man who fouled Michael Owen in the 2002 World Cup allowing David Beckham to step up and net the winner over rivals Argentina.
As delusional as Nigel Adkins could be at times, this is harsh treatment to say the least in my opinion.
Everton may well be laughing at all this, especially as the new boss can’t actually speak English, which may be just as well if Saints fans vent their anger over this decision.
Premier League Team News: Saints fans have some good news as Skipper Lallana has returned back to training, whilst Hetinga could return for The Toffees.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-2
Dream Team Star Man: Nikica Jelavic
There we have it, a complete run down of this weekends fixtures, premier league injuries and more. Keep an eye on our twitter @averagejoesblog for any updates regarding Premier League Snow Cancellations!