The weekend preview

First matches of December and some real mouth-watering ties are in order.

Saturday’s early kick-off sees Newcastle United host Chelsea. After United lost their first match a fortnight ago, they done well to bounce back and get a draw away to Manchester United. Demba Ba’s name was again on the score sheet but Jonas Gutierrez’s red card will be a big loss for the Magpies. Chelsea came off with a decent win last Saturday, but another midweek loss to Liverpool piles the pressure back on young manager Andre Villas-Boas. The problem with Chelsea is that they need to start and keep playing Fernando Torres in order for him to reach his top form and bang in the goals.

An important game at Loftus Road as Queens Park Rangers entertain West Bromwich Albion. Both teams have had similar runs of form recently, with QPR falling short away to Norwich City and West Brom comfortably beaten at home by Tottenham Hotspur last weekend. But both teams have strikers capable of scoring in these fixtures with Icelandic Heidar Helguson hoping to increase his goal tally, whilst Albion’s Shane Long has had a decent start to his Premier League campaign. However, it’s a different story for Peter Odemwingie. The Nigerian had a terrific first season, but an apparent knee injury is effecting his performance and his goal drought continues.

Saturday’s other matches include: Blackburn v Swansea, Man.City v Norwich, Tottenham v Bolton, Wigan v Arsenal and Aston Villa v Man.Utd.

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On Sunday, Wolverhampton Wanderers play Sunderland in a battle of the league strugglers. After a great start to the season, Wolves have only gone on to win one more match from September and a heavy defeat to Chelsea has derailed them once more. Meanwhile their opponents Sunderland will go into this match managerless and without a win since the end of October. A late Wigan Athletic strike cost manager Steve Bruce his job last Saturday, but can the players make a new impact under temporary boss Eric Black? The three points is vital for both sides, with either team on 11 points; only two in front of the drop zone.

Sunday’s other match is Everton v Stoke.

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Monday’s match comes from Craven Cottage as Fulham take on Liverpool.

Aaron Aquilina
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