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Thread: Barclays Premier League : Week 17

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    Barclays Premier League : Week 17

    Saturday 13th of December

    Middlesbrough (12th) v Arsenal (4th)


    GMT : 12.45
    Ground : The Riverside Stadium

    Middlesbrough boast an impressive run of form against Arsenal, going undefeated in their last four encounters with the Gunners, with a win and three 1-1 draws.

    Gareth Southgate's men will be hoping to pick up some points after amassing just two from the last 12 available.

    Arsenal themselves travel to the Riverside having failed to live up to expectations so far this season.

    Defeats to Aston Villa and Manchester City have been followed by narrow wins over Chelsea and Wigan Athletic.

    Arsene Wenger's men will be looking for a convincing victory on Teeside if they are to maintain their hopes of winning the Barclays Premier League title.

    Middlesbrough team news

    Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate is facing up to a defensive crisis.

    David Wheater is suspended after his sending-off at Hull City last weekend, while Justin Hoyte and Andrew Taylor are both doubts with knee injuries.

    Robert Huth (foot) and Chris Riggott (hamstring) have returned to training, but Tony McMahon, Seb Hines, Matthew Bates and Rhys Williams could come into contention if they are not ready.

    Arsenal team news


    Arsenal expect to have captain Cesc Fabregas (knee) back for Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to Middlesbrough, along with several other first-team players.

    Full-back Gael Clichy (hamstring), Robin van Persie (thigh) and the rested Emmanuel Ad****or also missed the midweek Champions League trip to Porto but should be available again, along with defender Bacary Sagna if he shakes off a virus in time.

    Defender Kolo Toure (calf) and midfielder Samir Nasri (ankle) remain sidelined, along with Eduardo (leg) and long-term absentee Tomas Rosicky (hamstring).

    squads

    Middlesbrough: Turnbull, Jones, Hoyte, McMahon, Taylor, Grounds, Pogatetz, Huth, Bates, Hines, Williams, Aliadiere, Arca, Walker, Digard, Downing, Johnson, Emnes, Tuncay, Alves.

    Arsenal
    : Almunia, Clichy, Gallas, Silvestre, Sagna, Denilson, Diaby, Fabregas, Eboue, van Persie, Ad****or, Fabianski, Djourou, Gibbs, Song, Vela, Bendtner, Ramsey, Wilshere.


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    Re: Barclays Premier League : Week 17

    Aston Villa (5th) v Bolton Wanderers (10th)

    GMT : 15:00
    Ground : Villa Park

    Last season, Aston Villa comprehensively beat Bolton Wanderers 4-0 at Villa Park. This fixture traditionally is a tough one to predict, with the last four encounters on Villa turf resulting in one win for each side and two draws.

    While Villa have picked up eight points from their last six matches, Bolton, one of the Barclays Premier League's form teams, have amassed a healthy 12 points, inspite of defeats against both Liverpool and Chelsea in their last six meetings.

    Having narrowly won against Everton last weekend, Martin O'Neill's Villians will be looking for a more convincing victory against the Trotters as they look to keep pace with the league's top four clubs.

    Meanwhile, with matters at the other half of the table still looking too tight to call, Bolton, currently sitting in tenth with 20 points, will aim to pick up a few more points to maintain the gap between themselves and the league's strugglers.

    Villa team news

    Villa manager Martin O'Neill is optimistic winger James Milner will have recovered from flu sufficiently to be available.

    Villa's 12m record signing has been unable to train this week because of the virus but has shown signs in the last 24 hours of improving.

    Midfielders Craig Gardner and Moustapha Salifou have been struck down by the same bug although both would only be at best substitutes against the Trotters.

    Striker John Carew is still ruled out with a back problem and is now battling to be fit for the forthcoming festive programme.

    Bolton team news

    Defender Joey O'Brien and midfielder Tamir Cohen are the only absentees for Bolton's Barclays Premier League trip to Aston Villa.

    Irishman O'Brien and Israeli Cohen are both still recovering from torn thigh muscles. Otherwise, manager Gary Megson has a fully-fit squad.

    squads

    Aston Villa: Friedel, Guzan, Cuellar, Davies, Laursen, Knight, L Young, Shorey, Milner, Petrov, Barry, Sidwell, Reo-Coker, Gardner, Osbourne, Salifou, A Young, Agbonlahor, Harewood, Delfouneso.

    Bolton
    : Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, A O'Brien, Samuel, Nolan, Riga, McCann, Muamba, Gardner, Taylor, Davies, Elmander, Al Habsi, Shittu, Smolarek, Basham, Fojut.

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    Re: Barclays Premier League : Week 17

    Liverpool (1st) v Hull City (6th)

    GMT : 15:00
    Ground : Anfield

    Liverpool last met Hull City in the 1999/2000 season, when they played each other twice in the League Cup. A 5-1 win for the Reds at Hull was followed by a 4-2 victory for the home side at Anfield.

    Having only played each other 12 times in their history, the Tigers are yet to record a victory, with Liverpool winning 10, and drawing twice.

    This season however, it could all change. Hull have been by far and away the Barclays Premier League's surprise package, and Phil Brown will be hoping to add another notable scalp to his collection, having already masterminded an away win at Arsenal.

    Top of the table Liverpool have proved they will not relinquish league points easily as they battle to win their first Barclays Premier League title, but have exerted themselves in midweek with a 1-3 away win against PSV in the Champions League.

    Liverpool team news

    Liverpool's big guns will return for Saturday's home league game with Hull after being rested for the midweek Champions League win in Eindhoven.

    Skipper Steven Gerrard, midfielder Xabi Alonso, goalkeeper Jose Reina and forward Dirk Kuyt are all expected to face the Yorkshire club.

    Liverpool hope that Fernando Torres will be back in a fortnight as he progresses with rehabilitation for a hamstring injury, while full-back Fabio Aurelio is back in training after missing three games with a calf problem, but will not be involved on Saturday.

    Hull team news

    Left-back Andy Dawson and striker Caleb Folan will miss the Barclays Premier League trip to Anfield as they continue to recover from their respective Achilles and knee problems.

    Long-term absentees Anthony Gardner and Craig Fagan are both expected to resume full-time training next weekend.

    squads

    Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Agger, Dossena, Babel, Benayoun, Gerrard, Mascherano, Lucas, Alonso, Riera, Kuyt, Keane, Ngog, Cavalieri, Insua, El Zhar.

    Hull City
    : Myhill, McShane, Turner, Zayatte, Ricketts, Ashbee, Boateng, Marney, Barmby, Geovanni, King, Garcia, Halmosi, Windass, Mendy, Cousin, Giannakopoulos, Hughes, Doyle, Duke.

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    Re: Barclays Premier League : Week 17

    Manchester City (14th) v Everton (8th)

    GMT : 15:00
    Ground : City of Man. Stadium

    Manchester City host Everton at the City of Manchester Stadium on Saturday, with both clubs hoping for a win for different reasons.

    City have seen their form dip of late, with the 3-0 win over Arsenal the only highlight of recent weeks. Having only picked up one point against Fulham last weekend, Mark Hughes' men find themselves just three points clear of the drop zone.

    David Moyes' Everton, currently in eighth, will be looking to get their push for a European spot back on track after suffering a disappointing last-gasp defeat at home to Aston Villa last week.

    In 162 meetings, City just have the edge over Everton, with 61 wins compared to the Toffees' 59. There have been 42 draws.

    Man City team news

    Manchester City manager Mark Hughes is hoping former Real Madrid striker Robinho will recover from an ankle injury in time to face Everton at Eastlands.

    Defender Nedum Onuoha could come into contention after a successful run-out in the reserves following a six-week absence because of a leg muscle problem.

    Micah Richards (ankle), Javier Garrido (Achilles) and Gelson Fernandes (hamstring) are all doubtful, as is Daniel Sturridge with a virus.

    Everton team news

    Victor Anichebe will undergo a pre-match fitness test to see if he is available for Everton.

    The Nigerian triggered a back problem in last week's loss against Aston Villa and will need a late check.

    Louis Saha is yet to recover from a hamstring complaint and James Vaughan will also be absent as he is still waiting to have a cartilage operation on his knee.

    squads

    Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Richards, Dunne, Garrido, Ball, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Kompany, Fernandes, Robinho, Vassell, Hamann, Benjani Mwaruwari, Jo, Sturridge, Ben Haim, Schmeichel, Onuoha, Evans.

    Everton: Howard, Neville, Lescott, Yobo, Jagielka, Baines, Arteta, Osman, Cahill, Fellaini, Anichebe, Nash, Castillo, Rodwell, Gosling, Jutkiewicz, Baxter, Pienaar.

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    Re: Barclays Premier League : Week 17

    Stoke City (13th) v Fulham (9th)

    GMT : 15:00
    Ground : Britannia Stadium

    The last time Fulham played Stoke City, the Cottagers ran out 3-0 winners in the FA Cup tie.

    This weekend they travel to the Britannia Stadium with just one point separating themselves in ninth with the Potters in 13th.

    Having drawn their last three fixtures, Roy Hodgson's men will be hoping for their first away win of the season to prolong their five-match unbeaten run.

    Tony Pulis' men, who themselves have only lost one of their last six (a 5-0 defeat away to Manchester United), will be hoping to earn a maximum over the league's notoriously bad travellers.

    Stoke team news

    Stoke are sweating on fitness tests for their long-throw specialist Rory Delap and fellow midfielder Salif Diao.

    Delap had an injection in a bid to cure an arm injury this week, while Diao has been under treatment since limping off with a calf problem in the first half of last week's draw at Newcastle.

    Glenn Whelan, who impressed after replacing Diao, may win his first Barclays Premier League start since the first day of the season, while Michael Tonge and Tom Soares are among those on stand-by for Delap.

    Defender Ryan Shawcross will not start despite returning to training after injuring his back three weeks ago, while Dave Kitson (knee) and Liam Lawrence (ankle) are still out.

    Fulham team news

    Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has a near full-strength squad.

    Long-term injury victim Diomansy Kamara remains sidelined, after the striker underwent knee surgery in the summer.

    Midfielder Andranik Teymourian also remains in the treatment room with his knee problem.

    squads

    Stoke: Sorensen, Griffin, Sonko, Abdoulaye Faye, Higginbotham, Delap, Amdy Faye, Diao, Whelan, Pugh, Cresswell, Tonge, Sidibe, Fuller, Simonsen, Olofinjana, Cort, Davies, Soares, Dickinson, Wilkinson.

    Fulham: Schwarzer, Zuberbuhler, Hughes, Baird, Leijer, Kallio, Hangeland, Stoor, Pantsil, Konchesky, Davies, Gera, Gray, Andreasen, Bullard, Dempsey, Murphy, Etuhu, Seol, Zamora, Johnson, Nevland.

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    Re: Barclays Premier League : Week 17

    Sunderland (18th) v West Bromwich Albion (20th)

    GMT : 15:00
    Ground : Stadium of Light

    Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion meet at the Stadium of Light having have lost a combined 19 of 32 Barclays Premier League matches already this season.

    However these clubs would swap places in the top flight's relegation zone, if the visitors were to win by a clear two-goal margin.

    The Black Cats have lost their last home league fixtures while the Baggies have tasted defeat in their last five on the road.

    This will be the fifth time these clubs have met in the Premier League and the side playing at home has yet to win.

    The Black Cats have won their last three league matches against the Baggies whose only Premier League maximum over the Mackems was 1-2 at the Stadium of Light on 19th April 2003; Derek McInnes scored a brace. Both clubs were relegated that season.

    Sunderland team news

    Caretaker Sunderland boss Ricky Sbragia will be boosted by the return of Kieran Richardson.

    The 24-year-old midfielder missed last weekend's 1-0 defeat at former club Manchester United through suspension after reaching five bookings for the season, and his place was taken by veteran Dwight Yorke.

    However, goalkeeper Craig Gordon (ankle) and full-back George McCartney (foot) are still fighting for fitness and are expected to miss out once again.

    West Brom team news

    West Brom will be without striker Ishmael Miller for the remainder of the season after he suffered a cruciate-ligament injury during last Sunday's 1-1 draw with Portsmouth at The Hawthorns.

    Craig Beattie has been recalled from a loan spell with Crystal Palace to add to manager Tony Mowbray's striking options, but Roman Bednar and Luke Moore are likely to be vying for the starting role up front against Sunderland.

    Mowbray has no other fresh injury worries as Albion look to end a run of nine matches without a win.

    squads

    Sunderland : Fulop, Colgan, Bardsley, Chimbonda, Ferdinand, Nosworthy, Collins, Malbranque, Whitehead, Richardson, Tainio, Leadbitter, Edwards, Miller, Yorke, Reid, Henderson, Colback, Diouf, Cisse, Jones, Murphy, Healy.

    West Brom
    : Carson, Kiely, Zuiverloon, Olsson, Meite, Robinson, Morrison, Valero, Greening, Koren, Brunt, Moore, Bednar, Beattie, Hoefkens, Cech, Barnett, Do-Heon, MacDonald, Dorrans, Pele, Teixeira, Donk.


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    Re: Barclays Premier League : Week 17

    Wigan Athletic (11th) v Blackburn Rovers (19th)

    GMT : 15:00
    Ground : JJB Stadium

    Two former Manchester United team-mates will be in opposing dug-outs at the JJB Stadium, as Steve Bruce's Wigan Athletic entertain Paul Ince's Blackburn Rovers.

    The Latics lost all their matches in October, were unbeaten in November, but started December with defeat at Arsenal.

    Rovers will equal their longest winless sequence in Premier League history if they fail to return with all three points; defeat would leave them one match short of equalling their longest ever losing run in league football.

    Wigan's only Premier League victory in six attempts against Blackburn was 5-3 in last season's corresponding fixture. Rovers have won eight of the 10 league and cup meetings with Wigan.

    Marcus Bent (Wigan) and Roque Santa Cruz (Blackburn) both helped themselves to hat-tricks in last season's eight-goal fest at the JJB.

    Wigan team news

    Defender Emmerson Boyce will miss the Barclays Premier League visit of Lancashire neighbours Blackburn with a torn hamstring.

    The centre-back was injured in last weekend's defeat at Arsenal and is expected to be out for at least a fortnight, although Paul Scharner should have recovered from a groin strain to replace him.

    Striker Henri Camara has been ill all week and will be checked before the match. Central midfielder Wilson Palacios serves a one-match suspension.

    Blackburn team news


    Midfielder David Dunn will be on the bench for Blackburn.

    The 28-year-old has not played since the second match of the season on August 28 after sustaining an Achilles injury.

    Defender Martin Olsson has picked up a knock this week but winger Morten Gamst Pedersen is fit despite picking up shoulder problem in last weekend's defeat to Liverpool.

    Defender Aaron Mokoena and striker Jason Roberts are also fit after pulling out late last week.

    squads

    Wigan
    : Kirkland, Taylor, Bramble, Scharner, Figueroa, Valencia, Cattermole, Brown, Koumas, Camara, Zaki, Heskey, Melchiot, Kilbane, Pollitt, Kingson, De Ridder, Cywka.

    Blackburn
    : Robinson, Brown, Simpson, Ooijer, Samba, Nelsen, Emerton, Warnock, Mokoena, Olsson, Dunn, Tu***, Treacy, Pedersen, Roberts, Derbyshire, Villanueva, Santa Cruz, Fowler, McCarthy, Andrews.


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    Re: Barclays Premier League : Week 17

    Tottenham Hotspur (15th) v Manchester United (3rd)

    GMT : 17:30
    Ground : White Hart Lane

    When these sides met last season, United needed a last gasp equaliser from Carlos Tevez to earn a 1-1 draw. That was one of several precious goals the Argentine scored in the 2007/08 campaign.

    He was again on target on Wednesday as United sealed top spot in their Champions League group with a 2-2 draw at home to Aalborg.

    Tottenham continue to climb up the table under Harry Redknapp and were impressive in their 2-0 win over West Ham United on Monday. Spurs have won five league matches already since Redknapp's first match on 26th October. They were winless until the former Portsmouth manager arrived.

    Spurs team news

    Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp will make a late decision on whether skipper Ledley King (knee) can face the champions.

    Striker Fraizer Campbell, who is on loan from United, is ineligible and also has a slight calf strain anyway.

    Alan Hutton (foot) and Giovani dos Santos (ankle) are out.

    Man Utd team news


    Dimitar Berbatov and Rio Ferdinand are major doubts for Manchester United's encounter with Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

    Berbatov is struggling with an Achilles injury, while Ferdinand suffered a back spasm towards the end of Wednesday's Champions League draw with Aalborg.

    Wayne Rooney and Patrice Evra are suspended and Cristiano Ronaldo (hip) and Michael Carrick (thigh) are also receiving treatment, which could leave Sir Alex Ferguson needing the full depth of his squad.

    squads

    Tottenham: Gomes, Cesar, Alnwick, Bale, Gunter, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto, Woodgate, King, Corluka, Zokora, Bentley, Huddlestone, Jenas, O'Hara, Bostock, Lennon, Jenas, Boateng, Bent, Pavlyuchenko, Modric.

    Manchester United
    : Van der Sar, Foster, Kuszczak, Rafael, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evans, O'Shea, Nani, Ronaldo, Anderson, Fletcher, Scholes, Carrick, Gibson, Possebon, Park, Giggs, Berbatov, Tevez, Welbeck, Manucho.

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    Re: Barclays Premier League : Week 17

    Sunday 14th December 2008

    Portsmouth (7th) v Newcastle United (17th)


    GMT : 13:30
    Ground : Fratton Park

    Portsmouth host Newcastle United bidding for a hat-trick of Barclays Premier League victories against north-east sides, to maintain their 100 per cent record this season against clubs from the region.

    Pompey have never been beaten in a home Premier League match by Newcastle who have not completed a top-flight victory at Fratton Park for nearly 50 years, since winning 1-5 on 11th March 1959

    Both Portsmouth's Tony Adams and Newcastle's Joe Kinnear are seeking their third Barclays Premier League victory in charge of their respective clubs.

    Portsmouth team news

    Portsmouth will be without defender Younes Kaboul. The Frenchman has been out with an ankle injury and will only return to light training on Monday.

    However, right-back Glen Johnson is fit after shaking off a minor knee problem and Richard Hughes is available following an ankle injury.

    Midfielder Lassana Diarra (ankle) remains absent, while Papa Bouba Diop is suspended.

    Newcastle team news


    Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear will make a late decision on a quartet of injured players before he picks his side.

    Nicky Butt (hamstring), Damien Duff (groin) and Shola Ameobi (foot and ankle) all missed last Saturday's 2-2 draw with Stoke City, while Danny Guthrie went off at half-time with a hip problem.

    However, all four trained on Friday and could return to contention, although teenager striker Kazenga LuaLua may be included in the squad after scoring twice in the FA Youth Cup in midweek.

    Joey Barton (knee), Alan Smith (foot) and Ignacio Gonzalez (Achilles) are still out.

    squads

    Portsmouth: James; Johnson, Campbell, Distin, Belhadj, Little, Davis, Kranjcar, Crouch, Defoe, A Traore, Kanu, Pamarot, Hughes, Mvuemba, Nugent, Thomas, Hreidarsson, Ashdown.

    Newcastle
    : Given, Harper, Beye, Enrique, N'Zogbia, Bassong, Coloccini, Taylor, Cacapa, Edgar, Butt, Guthrie, Duff, Gutierrez, Geremi, Owen, Martins, Viduka, Ameobi, Carroll, LuaLua.

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    Re: Barclays Premier League : Week 17

    Chelsea (2nd) v West Ham United (16th)

    GMT : 16:00
    Ground : Stamford Bridge

    Chelsea host West Ham United aiming to beat them for a seventh successive time in the Premier League.

    The Hammers have not taken a point off Chelsea since doing the double over them in 2002-03. P***o Di Canio got a brace in the 2-3 win at Stamford Bridge on 28th September 2002 and scored the winner in the 1-0 triumph at Upton Park on 3rd May 2003. However those six points were not sufficient to prevent the Hammers from dropping out of the top-flight that season.

    Chelsea are bidding for a sixth win in seven home Premier League matches with West Ham and have put 24 goals past the Hammers in nine top-flight meetings.

    Chelsea team news

    Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari must decide whether to stick with France striker Nicolas Anelka or recall Didier Drogba at Stamford Bridge.

    Ivorian Drogba is available again after completing a three-match ban for throwing a coin into the crowd against Burnley in the Carling Cup.

    Winger Florent Malouda is a doubt with a hamstring problem while Ricardo Carvalho (knee), Franco Di Santo (hamstring) and long-term injury victim Michael Essien (knee), remain sidelined for Sunday's Barclays Premier League match.

    West Ham team news

    West Ham midfielder Lee Bowyer remains a doubt after suffering a hip injury in the goalless draw with Liverpool, missing Monday's 2-0 home defeat by Tottenham as a result.

    Matthew Etherington, Freddie Sears and Jack Collison have been added to the squad but long-term injuries Kieron Dyer (broken leg) and Dean Ashton (ankle) are out.

    squads

    West Ham: Green, Neill, Collins, Upson, Etherington, Ilunga, Faubert, Boa Morte, Parker, Mullins, Behrami, Bellamy, Cole, Noble, Lastuvka, Tristan, Sears, Davenport, Collison, Di Michele, Bowyer.

    Chelsea: Cech, Cudicini, Hilario, Bosingwa, Belletti, Ferreira, Alex, Terry, Ivanovic, Bridge, A Cole, Lampard, Ballack, Obi, Deco, Kalou, Drogba, Anelka, J Cole.


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