Southampton v Spurs, 12:45
Spurs are something of an anomaly at the top of the Barclays Premier League, with their single-digit goal difference and extremely leaky defence that is largely the cause of said integer, but today is actually a bigger chance for them than many would think as they travel to Southampton in search of an away win. While the home team may only be a place below Tottenham in the table, their style has not been markedly altered by the new manager this season and it is possible that Mauricio Pochettino could use his inside knowledge to gain a sixth win in their last eleven matches.
Southampton defender Toby Alderweireld could be fit but Victor Wanyama is banned, and Filip Djuricic, Fraser Forster and Jay Rodriguez remain out. For Spurs, Hugo Lloris’ knee injury will be assessed, but Kyle Walker could miss the rest of the season with a foot problem
Burnley v Leicester, 15:00
If you get bored of hearing phrases like ‘this is a real relegation six-pointer’ thrown around then you are not alone, and may want to avoid this match too as it is sure to be littered with that sort of cliché. In this case it is also true, with these two making up 66% of the bottom three and now looking very likely to be there until the end of their thirty-eighth game, but Leicester have shown a little more sprit in recent weeks with three consecutive wins and if either is going to turn things around it will probably be the Foxes.
Burnley boss Sean Dyche will be forced into a rare change as Ashley Barnes is suspended, and Dean Marney and Kevin Long remain on the long-term injury list. Leicester striker David Nugent is a doubt, but Marcin Wasilewski is expected to be available.
Crystal Palace v Hull, 15:00
If Leicester are going to achieve safety this season it will have to be at the expense of some other poor unfortunate team, and at the times of writing it looks as though that team is going to be Hull City, Tigers or whatever. No win in their last six, equal on points with the Foxes and travelling to face a Crystal Palace side with recent wins over City and Stoke is not a good look, and by the end of the day Steve Bruce may be looking at the business end of a relegation battle he has tried to avoid all season, but cannot.
Crystal Palace have Jordon Mutch and Chung-yong Lee back in contention after injury, but will be without Fraizer Campbell and Marouane Chamakh. Hull City’s Curtis Davies, Nikica Jelavic and Andrew Robertson remain out, while Mohamed Diame is not expected to feature and David Meyler is still suspended.
Newcastle v Swansea, 15:00
It’s tough to know how the fans at Newcastle are going to react week-to-week, but if we’re any judge at all the news out of Sunderland about Adam Johnson’s youthful proclivities is going to produce more positive volume from the stands at St James than anything they’ve done on the pitch of late. Six consecutive losses and just one win in their last eight means the Magpies need a few more points to avoid the potential for relegation becoming a reality, and Swansea losing to Leicester last time out will make them believe today is at least a chance for three points.
Siem de Jong will be in the Newcastle squad for the first time since August and Jonas Gutierrez returns having been dropped. Swansea are still without Kyle Naughton and Bafetimbi Gomis, as well as Neil Taylor who serves the second game of a two-match suspension.
QPR v West Ham, 15:00
One club that would dearly love to hire Sam Allardyce meets another than in all probability is going to sack, or at least release the very same big man at the end of the season in a game. Rangers are the 33% of the bottom three not appearing in Leicester this weekend and have won one of their last eight games in this division, but a win here with results elsewhere going to plan could see them climb out of the bottom three at least for a short time, provided West Ham continue to play as badly as they have done in the last few weeks.
QPR will assess midfielder Leroy Fer, and full-back Yun Suk-Young. West Ham are without defender Guy Demel, as well as James Tomkins, Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho.
Stoke v Sunderland, 15:00
We aren’t going to go into it in great detail, but it is fair to say Sunderland have not had the best preparation for this game by any stretch of the imagination even if there hasn’t been any action on the pitch. The timing really could not have been worse for Dick Advocaat’s side, who’ve just started to find a tiny bit of form in the last few games, and an away game to Stoke that should have used all of their resources will now become the backdrop for any number of creatively tasteless chants from the home fans.
Stoke midfielder Stephen Ireland is available but The Potters could again be without Marc Muniesa and Peter Odemwingie. Sunderland say Adam Johnson remains available for selection, but Sebastian Larsson completes a ban and Wes Brown is still injured.
West Brom v Liverpool, 15:00
With a seven-point gap between them and City, qualification for the Champions League is out of Liverpool’s control even with the game in hand they hold over the soon-to-be-deposed champions, so all they can do is win their remaining games and hope for more calamity out of City. Two recent losses, to Arsenal and United, have put Brendan Rodgers on the back foot a bit with the media, but the new contract for Jordan Henderson will lift the team and the Baggies (who are admittedly stronger at home) have lost three of their last four matches in this division.
West Brom midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu completes a three-game ban and Andre Wisdom is ineligible to face his parent club. Liverpool trio Daniel Sturridge, Mamadou Sakho and Lucas Leiva remain unavailable and Adam Lallana and Jon Flanagan are doubts after recently returning to training.
Man City v Aston Villa, 17:30
Last weekend was an absolute dream for a Villa side that hasn’t had much to cheer about in the last few months if truth be told. Qualifying for the FA Cup final at Wembley means they’ll be in the Europa League next term, and now their only job is to ensure they aren’t competing on that front whilst also a part of the SkyBet Championship. City aren’t in great form, having lost four of their last seven Premier League matches, but a win over West Ham will help them perk up and they should take three points off Villa this evening.
Villa have a couple of potential returnees today, including Gabby Agbonlahor and Aly Cissokho, but must still cope without Nathan Baker, Ciaran Clark, Alan Hutton and Chris Herd among others. Injury has taken a similar toll on the City squad, shorn as it is of Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy Vincent Kompany and Stevan Jovetic, but they could have David Silva, James Milner and Wilfried Bony back for this game.