Saturday’s Premier League Preview

Crystal Palace v Queens Park Rangers


Crystal Palace will be looking to end a poor run against their London rivals when they host QPR in Saturday’s lunch time kick-off.

The Eagles have not beaten the west Londoners in their last seven league meetings, but the visitors have lost the last three games in a row and find themselves three points from safety.

Palace have on-loan Arsenal forward Yaya Sanogo back from a hamstring injury for Saturday’s match.

Striker Glenn Murray is also available again following suspension, however midfielder Mile Jedinak, continues his four-game ban.

Fraizer Campbell and Marouane Chamakh (hamstring) are both out, while Jordon Mutch is also missing with a thigh strain.

For QPR Furlong (calf), Taarabt (groin) and Vargas (muscular problem) returned to training this week after missing last weekend’s 2-1 home defeat to Tottenham through injuries. QPR are hoping defender Darnell Furlong, midfielder Adel Taarabt and forward Eduardo Vargas will recover in time.

Midfielder Joey Barton will serve his third and final match ban this weekend while defender Richard Dunne and midfield pair Leroy Fer and Alejandro Faurlin are still side-lined with knee injuries.

Arsenal v West Ham United


Arsenal host West Ham and will be looking for their fifth-straight Premier League win as they look to cement their Champions League charge.

Arsene Wenger’s men have put themselves at the head of the pack chasing the top two, and now sit only four points behind second-placed Manchester City ahead of the weekend’s games.

The visitors, meanwhile, have lost eight successive Premier League matches against Arsenal and have not won a top-flight fixture since their victory over Hull in the middle of January.

Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain faces up to a month out with a hamstring injury. But midfielder Mathieu Flamini is back in contention for the match against West Ham after a hamstring problem.

Club captain Mikel Arteta (ankle) is set to step up his rehabilitation after returning to train, as is defender Gabriel (hamstring), but Jack Wilshere (ankle) is still a few weeks away from a return.

West Ham are without James Tomkins after the defender dislocated his shoulder in training.

The Hammers could also be without three of their first-team strikers. Carlton Cole (hamstring) and Andy Carroll (knee) are definite absentees whilst Enner Valencia is struggling to be fit having suffered a severe cut to his toe after standing on a broken teacup.

Winston Reid will miss out with a hamstring complaint, on-loan Carl Jenkinson cannot feature against his parent club and Alex Song (knee) could also be sidelined – although fellow midfielder Morgan Amalfitano is back having served a three-match ban. Sixteen-year-old defender Reece Oxford could be included in the squad as cover.

Leicester City v Hull City


Leicester City host an in-form Hull City on Saturday knowing they must get back to winning ways before it is too late as relegation looms large.

After making a promising start to life back in the big time, the Foxes’ form has deteriorated rapidly, and a run of six defeats in seven league matches has seen them be cut adrift at the bottom of the table.

However, a run of five matches unbeaten has seen the Tigers move clear of the dropzone – form that has seen boss Steve Bruce earn himself a new deal.

Kasper Schmeichel may make his return for Leicester after four months out with a broken foot.

The goalkeeper has been in full training and is now fit enough for first-team action ahead of the visit of Hull, and boss Nigel Pearson must choose between him, Mark Schwarzer and Ben Hamer.

Dean Hammond (calf) and Anthony Knockaert (personal reasons) will miss the game.

Hull trio Mohamed Diame, Liam Rosenior and James Chester are close to first-team returns but will not be fit in time for Saturday’s game.

Rosenior is back in training and could be joined by Diame and Chester next week, though none are ready to take on the Foxes.

Robbie Brady (calf) remains sidelined and Robert Snodgrass (knee) is out for the season.

Sunderland v Aston Villa



Sunderland and Aston Villa will each look to take a giant stride towards Premier League survival when the two relegation-threatened sides meet at the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats have won just one of their last eight league games, are without a win in six in all competitions and, with just four Premier League victories to their name this season, they are in desperate need of a positive result.

Sunderland are without the suspended Lee Cattermole after he picked up his 10th booking of the season in the recent draw at Hull and was handed an automatic two-match ban.

Adam Johnson remains suspended by the club while Emanuele Giaccherini (ankle) and Will Buckley (knee) are both ruled out.

Christian Benteke will return to the Villa squad for their crucial relegation battle at Sunderland.

The striker missed the FA Cup quarter-final win over West Brom with a hip injury but boss Sherwood confirmed he will travel to Wearside.

Ron Vlaar (calf) will be assessed but Kieran Richardson (calf) is a doubt. Aly Cissokho (groin) is a likely absentee and Philippe Senderos (calf), Joe Cole (hamstring), Nathan Baker (knee), Alan Hutton and Jack Grealish (both suspended) are out.

Libor Kozak has returned to full training after more than a year out with a broken leg, but he is not yet match fit.

West Brom v Stoke City


Tony Pulis will be hoping to build on the impressive start he has made as West Brom boss when his side take on Stoke City.

February’s Manager of the Month has only suffered defeat twice in the league since taking over at The Hawthorns, and he remains on course to maintain his proud record of having never been relegated as a manager.

However, back-to-back defeats against local rivals Aston Villa has taken the shine off what has been a strong start to life in the West Midlands for Pulis.

West Brom have doubts over strikers Saido Berahino, Brown Ideye and Victor Anichebe for the clash against Stoke.

Berahino and Ideye have been playing through the pain barrier recently while Anichebe has a groin problem.

Winger Callum McManaman has a foot injury which Pulis has decided to rest for a few weeks.

Burnley v Manchester City


Manchester City have the chance to put pressure on leaders Chelsea when they travel to Burnley on Saturday Night Football.

As Chelsea do not play until Sunday, Manuel Pellegrini’s men can narrow the gap to two points with victory at Turf Moor.

However, with the relegation-threatened Clarets in need of a vital three points, it will not be plain sailing for the reigning champions, who were held to a 2-2 draw at the Etihad in the last meeting between the sides.

City captain Vincent Kompany will hope to be recalled for the trip across Lancashire.

The Belgium defender was dropped for City’s last game against Leicester after a spell of indifferent form, while midfielders Fernandinho and Samir Nasri also missed out.

Striker Wilfried Bony will hope to retain his spot after a first start for the club in the victory over the Foxes, as Pellegrini chooses from a fully-fit squad.

Neither Matt Taylor nor new signing Fredrik Ulvestad will be in the Burnley squad for Saturday’s game.

Taylor has played twice for the development squad as he continues his slow recovery from Achilles surgery but is not yet ready for the first-team squad.

Norwegian midfielder Ulvestad is seen more as a player for the long term after signing a three-year deal this week.













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