West Ham v Man City, 12:45
When Gary ‘bottle-brown’ Lineker sits down this evening with the order for Match of the Day in front of him there is a good case for saying this match should be first in line for the cutting analysis of Alan Shearer and Robbie Savage, given that it is second in the table visiting fourth. Even a home win wouldn’t put the Hammers above their guests in the table, but it would prove Sam Allardyce really does know what he’s doing after his side lost to thee of the bigger sides in United, Spurs and Southampton.
West Ham have midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate and defender James Tomkins available again but the game comes a bit early for Andy Carroll. Frank Lampard misses out for City and Samir Nasri is also unavailable after a groin operation.
Liverpool v Hull, 15:00
Although they are fith in the Premier League table, things have been decidedly negative for Liverpool FC over the last week or so, and a lot of that has been their own doing. With former players publicly turning on the team in exchange for some Murdoch money (looking at you Carra) and the manager seemingly at war with himself and needing to pick a fight the team went into the Real Madrid match with low expectation and still managed to hurt morale, and there is a real risk Hull could take all three points against the struggling home team.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has to make do with Daniel Sturridge, Mamadou Sakho and Jon Flanagan for this game. Hull have been weakened by the absence of Michael Dawson and Nikica Jelavic, and Eldin Jakupovic is set to play in goal with the first two picks injured.
Southampton v Stoke, 15:00
Southampton have won five of their last six games and come into this match on the back of ruining Sunderland last weekend, so Stoke will feel like they’ve got a real task on their hands to get anything out of the match at all. Wins over QPR, Swansea and West Ham have all contributed to the great position Southampton are in, and if they’d managed to beat Spurs and Liverpool too they could easily be in the top two without anyone really batting an eyelid, given how they’ve played. Stoke have won one of their last six and need a win, but getting that today will be no easy task.
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman is likely to pick the same team that thrashed Sunderland, with James Ward-Prowse and striker Jay Rodriguez long-term absentees. Stoke defender Phil Bardsley faces a fitness test, but Glenn Whelan has not yet recovered from a fractured leg.
Sunderland v Arsenal 15:00
How do you recover from losing a game 8-0? That is the question Gus Poyet has been asking himself and his aides all week as he seeks to bounce back from the Southampton match, and with match-day upon us we’ll finally see what his solution is. Arsenal are a tough opponent, but if Sunderland can win or even draw this game it’ll be a fillip for the club and the fans, and proof that Poyet has not yet lost the dressing room despite the team losing the plot on the pitch from time to time.
Anthony Reveillere, who joined Sunderland as a free agent on Thursday, could make his debut which is good news as Sebastian Coates, Billy Jones, Emanuele Giaccherini and Ricky Alvarez remain out through injury. Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is suspended and Theo Walcott is not expected to return to the squad until next weekend.
West Brom v Crystal Palace, 15:00
Neither of these sides have had the most impressive few matches of late, although both have wins over one of the ‘bigger’ sides in Spurs and Everton respectively and can draw on those for inspiration here today. One point separates the two sides in the table and the winner today could vault into the top half such is the level of competition in the middle third of the league, and Palace showed versus Chelsea that the Baggies will at least have to have big balls to win.
Ben Foster is likely to return to West Brom’s starting line-up but Jonas Olsson is out and Claudio Yacob remains in his native Argentina due to family illness. Neil Warnock will be forced into changes, with Damien Delaney suspended and James McArthur out while Scott Dann won’t be ready.
Swansea v Leicester, 17:30
Although they sit eighth in the Barclays Premier League table Swansea are in something of a funk right not, having not won any of their last five matches. Garry Monk had a minor meltdown last time out, ostensibly at the diving of Victor Moses but in reality more because his side are playing well but losing, and if he sees them lose to Leicester today it might be the first Match of the Day interview to be bleeped in a long time.
Swansea welcome back midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, but Leon Britton, Jordi Amat, Dwight Tiendalli and Ashley Richards are out. Leicester have no new fitness concerns, with long-term absentee Matthew Upson the only senior player currently sidelined.