english premier league logo

West Brom v Man Utd Preview

West Bromwich Albion hosts Manchester United at their home ground, The Hawthorns on Monday. The Red Devils, as they are known, are coming in fresh after a two back to back victories to claim their position on the top four. Manchester United are looking strong, but the match may not as breezy as expected. The Baggies may put a dent in the fortunes of ManU, it is a faint, but present possibility. This is because just before the International break, they had two victories and lost only to Liverpool by a very small margin; they cannot be written off so easily. It is suggested that they have the potential to slice through the back end of the Manchester defence, which has been a little weak of late. It seems more than likely that both teams will be scoring in the match.

West Brom’s Saido Berahino is having a great season so far, and has scored six goals in the last nine matches and five of them have at home in the Hawthorns. The Red Devils, though have not lost a single match at the hawthorns, in fact the Baggies have lost every single match in the last seven encounters at home except one, which was a draw. United, on the outset is looking weak after their encounter and victory over Everton has left a good portion of their team in the treatment room. There are nine injured players in the Manchester United team as of now.

The list includes important players like- Paddy McNair, Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, each with hamstring injuries, Jonny Evans and Michael Carrick with ankle injuries, Jesse Lingard with a hurt knee, Chris Smalling with a thigh issue and Ashley Young with groin damage. Ander Herrera, who was taken in with a rib fracture has declared that the injury is not very severe and can get back on the field with a shot of painkillers. Wayne Rooney will be forced to sit this one out due to the three match ban that he faces.

The greater threat for United are the matches that follow, for which the team needs their top tier players for they will face off against the premier league rivals, Chelsea and Manchester City.

West Brom is facing only two omissions Anichebe, who had a hernia, Yacob who opted out due to personal reasons. The team is playing with most of their tested squad that they have retained, with Berahino leading the attack.

Even though Manchester United is bogged down by injuries, it is highly unlikely that they will lose this match and they have not won any of the last five matches played away from home this season. They have the power to deliver a lot of goals but their defence is a bit weak, and may even concede a few goals to the opposition. West Brom is looking strong, but may just not be strong enough to halt the onslaught of the Red Devils.

english premier league logo

Stoke v Swansea Preview

Stoke City and Swansea are to meet at the Britannia on Sunday, home game for Stoke City. This is a team that finished in the top ten last season, but it seems that it accounted to very little as a sense of frustration has set on the camp and their early in the season efforts can be described as nothing but indifferent. Their only high this season was at the Etihad; following this, they lost two of their three home games. Swansea is on a good roll, way ahead of the big guns Liverpool and Chelsea, almost equalling Manchester United. They started on a thumping three game victory, bringing nine points but only made two more in the next four matches after that. Consistency is plaguing this team as well. In the last three Premier league matches in the Britannia, they have managed only one point.

Experts point out that these teams are likely to finish at the bottom of the top half or the top of the bottom half this year, if they continue with the same performance that they are now putting on. Head to head, Stoke has performed better than Swansea at home, and they did not lose the last three matches. Another interesting fact here is that the team playing away has never won a single match in the Premier league between Stoke and Swansea.

Stoke does not have too many changes for the match, with Crouch leading the offence, there are only two players who might not make it to the field- Odemwingie, and Whelan with knee injuries. Peter Crouch is the man of the hour here and continues his stride in the game, the possibilities of a call back to the national side is proof of his quality and endurance in the game. Crouch has also been a fly in Swansea’s ointment as he has scored four times in the previous three matches at the Britannia.

Swansea is going into this match Bony leading the pack on the offence, while the team is the one with the smallest squad this year (18 players), every injury is going to hit them hard. Bony has been good, but again, inconsistent. With four players sitting out, three for injury and one suspension, they have limited space to work with and will have to make the best with what they have. Britton and Amat are both out with knee injuries, an ankle injury will put Donnelly on the bench and Shelvey is suspended.

Other factors that seem to have an outcome on the matches are the days in which they are played. Sundays seem to be a bad day for these teams. The Stokes, in the last six matches played on Sunday, have not won any of them.

Considering the fact that these teams seem to have lost their footing this tournament, this match is critical for both teams. For Swansea, if they want to get their stride back and for Stoke if they want to get out of their downward streak.

english premier league logo

QPR v Liverpool Preview

Queen’s Park Rangers is a team that is at the bottom of the board right now and Liverpool has not had a great season so far; this could be an interesting match. QPR is not the strongest of teams and their confidence level throughout this year is seen clearly in the numbers they’ve racked up – five games lost in the seven they’ve played so far and a singular victory. They are facing one of the giants of the game, a wounded one, but a giant nevertheless. If Liverpool wishes to retain its place on the top four of the list, they have got to come strong in the next seven games before meeting Chelsea and Real Madrid at home. The team had a rough September and after the international break, have found momentum, but will have to continue winning.

QPR has barely come out of the bottom three of the table and was also missing for a few years between 1996 and 2011. Liverpool, on the other hand is one of the ‘top four’ and this means these teams have not played too many matches against each other. In fact, in all these years, they have only met four times on the field in the last 14 years! Liverpool won three of these and QPR took one match, but what a match it was! Scoring 3 goals in fourteen minutes, they squashed The Reds in a memorable match.

Liverpool, just fresh back from the international break is operating on near full throttle on Sunday at Loftus road. Most of the squad is fit and Sturridge, Glen Johnson, Joe Allen and Emre Can are all set to return. Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho are now facing fitness tests. The worry among fans will be if the pairing is not available for play next Wednesday against Christiano Ronaldo’s lot. It could be the most important match that the team has faced in a few years. The team will have a difficult decision to make as it will have to prioritise between the Premier league and Champion’s league.

QPR has a team right now that could have stomped anyone in 2008. Predicting a good line-up of them is easy as they have three defensive partnerships that have been used, all to varying degrees of success. Their most used of the three – Ferdinand and Caulker, have played for 462 minutes this season and conceded 11 goals, one for every 42 minutes on the field. This team just may not be fully equipped to handle The Reds.

The clear favourites here is Liverpool, but as the saying goes, there are no easy away matches, so they will be looking to take their much needed points and piling them up while taking their campaign forward. QPR will have to put up a brave fight and even if they manage a draw, it will be well worth it. If Liverpool can manage a four to nought victory, they can rise the ranks once more.