Chelsea v West Brom, 15:00
In baseball, if a pitcher is on track for a perfect game it is considered bad luck to mention it, but here in the developed world we aren’t interested in childish superstitions and Chelsea have gone eleven games in the league without losing this season. Two draws and nine wins have given Chelsea a four-point lead over surprise early contenders Southampton and eight points over probable eventual competitors Manchester City, and with a squad to worry any enemy it’s already looking like another domestic title for Jose Mourinho, and at relatively low cost compared to his time in Madrid.
Chelsea forwards Andre Schurrle and Diego Costa are fit, and Cesc Fabregas has a chance despite a hamstring injury, but Nathan Ake is ruled out. Craig Gardner could return to the West Brom line-up but Jonas Olsson and Sebastien Pocognoli are likely to remain out with injuries.
Everton v West Ham, 15:00
Sat in the top four and four points clear of Liverpool and hosts for today Everton, the small London club we know as West Ham has rarely seen such success in recent times, especially in the Premier League era. After some pretty crap signings Sam Allardyce seems to have hit the jackpot with a couple of forwards over the summer that are definitely producing the goods right now, and with only five leage teams having worse defensive records than Everton it’ll be key for the home team to keep it tight at the back this afternoon.
Everton’s Leighton Baines is doubtful and Gareth Barry appears likely to miss out, while Martinez will also monitor the fitness of James McCarthy, Seamus Coleman, Darron Gibson, Steven Pienaar and Kevin Mirallas. West Ham will assess Diafra Sakho and Stewart Downing, and could have Andy Carroll fit for the first time in a while too.
Leicester v Sunderland, 15:00
Between these two there are four wins in their last twenty Premier League games, and with a record like that you’d expect to be circling the drain or even have one foot in the relegation spots already. True to that, a run of five losses and a draw has seen Leicester drop to eighteenth in the table and Sunderland are only three points above them, making this match pretty vital as they approach the Christmas season and the rush of games we see then.
Liam Moore and Wes Morgan are available for Leicester but Dean Hammond and Matthew Upson remain sidelined by injury. Sunderland forward Steven Fletcher has recovered from the ankle problem, Lee Cattermole returns from suspension, and Sebastian Coates and Ricky Alvarez are in training after long lay-offs.
Man City v Swansea, 15:00
Third and fifth in the table meet today in Manchester with a lot on the line for both managers, although they would have come into the year with very different expectations if truth be told. Swansea might have had some ambitions in the direction of making the Europa League spots while City wanted to defend their title, but a win for Swansea would put them level on points with City and only behind on goal difference in the Premier League table, while City could end up eleven points back on the league leaders.
Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany is fit again and Eliaquim Mangala has overcome a knock, but Edin Dzeko and Aleksandar Kolarov are both expected to be out until next month with calf injuries. Swansea hope to have Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge back, but Federico Fernandez misses out again.
Newcastle v QPR, 15:00
Four wins from five games have seen Newcastle make a bit of a quick jump up the Barclays Premier League table in recent weeks, and they now sit eighth in the table with and eight-point lead over their guests for the day. QPR are only a point away from rock bottom in the table, and although they are surrounded by other promoted teams the sheer amount spent at the club should have set them apart from frugal Leicester and Burnley, but hasn’t. A loss today might see them bottom of all by the end of the weekend, and with the home team in great form that seems a likely outcomes.
Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini and midfielders Rolando Aarons, Cheick Tiote and Mehdi Abeid will all miss this match, while Steven Taylor is also a major doubt. QPR midfielder Adel Taarabt has been ruled out with a groin injury and statuesque defender Rio Ferdinand serves the final game of a three-match suspension, while Mauricio Isla and Eduardo Vargas will be assessed prior to kick off.
Stoke v Burnley, 15:00
Twentieth in the table travel to ninth, and although it’s not a Tuesday evening and it might not rain this is always going to be a bugger of a game for the away team. Burnley need easy points right now as they are bottom of the table and have only won once so far, but Stoke have only lost three of their last ten league games in the league and the chances of an away win are slim to say the least, although it is not impossible.
Stoke are hopeful Eric Pieters and Phil Bardsley will recover in time to face Burnley but Marc Wilson is not expected to feature this weekend. Burnley duo Steven Reid and Dean Marney are fit again, but Sam Vokes is not fit yet.
Arsenal v Man Utd, 17:30
The match of the day is going to be United at Arsenal, at least for the BBC and Gary Lineker’s little club of boys and there is just one point between them in the table. Sadly for fans of the two clubs, both of whom spent very heavily over the summer, there is at least twelve points between them and Chelsea in the table meaning that even a good win today wouldn’t put them in contention, although it could catapult them into the top four at least.
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is available to face Manchester United and Mikel Arteta returns from a hamstring injury but Danny Welbeck is a doubt and Theo Walcott could miss out with a groin injury. Daley Blind has joined Radamel Falcao on the United injury list, while Luke Shaw and Michael Carrick were injured on England duty but could play.