Without further ado, let’s crack on!
Aston Villa v Newcastle – Tuesday 29 January 2013 – 19.45 KO
Hand on hearts how many of you would have this down as relegation six pointer back in August? I may have had Villa watching their backs, but a Newcastle side who seemed to have pace, power and guile this time last year?
Anyway, in between the writing of this and the game being played, Newcastle will have signed three more Frenchman and Villa will have been knocked out of the Midlands 5-a-side league by Fulchester Uniteds U13s!!
Premier League Team News: Villa will bring back Gabby Agbonlahor and Benteke after resting them against Millwall, however Delphs injury in the same game forces him out. Newcastle welcome back Steven Taylor to steady the back line and French quartet Yanga-Mbiwa, Gouffran, Haidara and Sissoko are all available.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-1
Dream Team Star Man: Charles N’Zogbia
QPR v Manchester City – Tuesday 29 January 2013 – 19.45 KO
‘Arry would have been looking forward to last weekend’s game against MK Dons, a chance to have a look at some of his second string he may not have seen properly since taking over, whilst comfortably booking a place in the last 16 of the FA Cup. Oh Dear!! Sky Sports News on the other hand will have loved it, knowing full well that the Rangers team may be overhauled again before the end of the month and will now get their obligatory interview with ‘Arry from a car window.
City will be rubbing their hands at this fixture, especially as it gives them a chance to close the gap on United, if only for 24 hours.
Premier League Team News: Rangers will ring the changes after resting a lot of players in their cup defeat. Wright-Phillips is doubtful however and Ferdinand has joined Bursaspor on loan until the end of the season. Remy should have recovered from his tight hamstring. City will have to replace Kompany who injured his calf last week, whilst it is unclear whether Ballotelli has travelled with the squad after being linked with a move back home. Diakite and the Toure brothers are still on international duty.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-3
Dream Team Star Man: Kun Aguero
Stoke City v Wigan – Tuesday 29 January 2013 – 19.45 KO
Stoke put up a good show against Manchester City in the cup at the weekend and will look to this as their springboard to improve after failing to win in their last four EPL showings.
Wigan have more pressing problems, they now find themselves kept off the bottom only by QPR and a run of only one win in ten looks unlikely to improve at Fortress Britannia.
Premier League Team News: Geoff Cameron is a doubt for the home side, whilst Wigan have Arouna Kone on African Cup of Nations duty.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-0
Dream Team Star Man: Steven N’Zonzi
Sunderland v Swansea – Tuesday 29 January 2013 – 19.45
I think I may have done The Swans a slight disservice last time out thinking that their minds may well be focused to their impending Capital One Cup Semi Final. Michael Laudrup showed what his side’s mental state is like by beating Stoke and then keeping a clean sheet against Chelsea. What a week!
However, Sunderland have won back to back in the EPL and seem to have found a little more creativity in their side, which will be needed against a Swansea team who are happy to sit deep, defend the edge of their box and then quickly counter.
Premier League Team News: Cuellar, Rose and Cattermole are still on Sunderlands lengthy injury list, whilst Laudrup has a decision to make over Danny Graham who appears to want to leave (for Sunderland!). Kemy Agustein is also out for 4 weeks.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-0
Dream Team Star Man: Adam Johnson
Arsenal v Liverpool – Wednesday 30 January 2013 – 19.45 KO
It was like Back to the Future last time out for Arsenal, in a sublime 7 minute spell against West Ham they seemed to repay the belief Arsene Wenger has in his team, whether they will be able to kick on and get back into the Champions League spaces is another thing.
Liverpool seem to be have this knack of taking 2 steps forward and then one back, and this reared its head again on Sunday in the cup. Does anyone know the way to Oldham?
Premier League Team News: Vermaelen should be passed fit after sitting out the Brighton cup fixture at the weekend, whilst Gervinho is away with the Ivory Coast. Arteta is still rated as doubtful. Liverpool have no new injury worries.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Lukas Podolski
Everton v West Bromwich Albion – Wednesday 30 January 2013 – 19.45 KO
Everton will be counting down the days until the end of January, when they will either celebrating or consoling themselves over the future of Fellani amongst others.
Deadline day doom is also casting a cloud over The Hawthorns with Peter Odemwingie’s head allegedly been turned by the lure of the bright lights of London and a double your salary offer to go with it, but probably Championship football with QPR.
Premier League Team News: Everton will be hoping Mirallas and Coleman are passed fit although the game has come round too early for potential new signing Leroy Fer. The Baggies will have Shane Long back as well as Yacob after injury. However Mulumbu is still on international duty.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Shane Long