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Barclays Premier League Weekend Fixtures Part One: Team News. Manager Comments. Predictions. An FA Cup Final Rehearsal?

Barclays Premier League Weekend Review – Part One

By Marc Gingell

More Basement Battles Plus A Potential FA Cup Final Rehearsal

09.03. 12:30 Selhurst Park REF: C Pawson Crystal Palace vs Brighton
09.03. 15:00 Cardiff City Stadium REF: G Scott Cardiff vs West Ham
09.03. 15:00 John Smith’s Stadium REF: A Taylor Huddersfield vs Bournemouth
09.03. 15:00 King Power Stadium REF: D Coote Leicester vs Fulham

Crystal Palace (13) vs Brighton (15)

Back in December Brighton beat Crystal Palace 3-1 at home and that win came off the back of a 2-1 win at Huddersfield. A nice double. Back in October they completed a nice triple with 1-0 homes wins against West Ham and Wolves and a 1-0 win away at Newcastle squeezed in between those wins. Last weekend they went back to 1-0 wins with a fortuitous home win against Huddersfield. Tight margins seems a trendy expression and Brighton do seem to like to keep their margins very tight.

Murray Stuck On 99 With 2 In Last 13

Brighton have won eight league games this season with five of those 1-0. Scoring goals is a problem and Glen Murray has been stuck on 99 career league goals since Brighton’s end of January crash at Fulham. He scored two in that 4-2 defeat but they are his only two goals in the last 13 Premier League Games.

Despite completing a double over Huddersfield, Brighton’s current form is appalling.

Pattaya One. Glenn Murray stuck in the nervous nineties.

Palace On A Roll

Crystal Palace are on a roll and their current form, over their last five games, put’s them in fourth place above Liverpool, Spurs, and Chelsea. Emphatic wins at in-form Burnley, and sorry Leicester which lead to Leicester parting company with Claude Puel, has put them up there with the Manchester’s and Arsenal.

FA Cup Dress Rehearsal?

Despite being around for decades managers Chris Houghton and Roy Hodgson haven’t actually won anything at the highest level as managers. But, if something strange happens to the Manchester’s, they could meet in the FA Cup Final this year. For Hodgson, this will be his 300th English league game. It all began in 1982 when Bristol City drew 0-0 with Huddersfield.

Pattaya One. Roy Hodgson and Chris Houghton.

Team News

Crystal Palace

  • Unknown Return Dates: Julian Speroni and Mamadou Sakho with their knocks.
  • Possible Chance: Pape Souaré who has a shoulder injury.
Pattaya One. Mamadou Sakho injured.

Brighton

  • Expected Back 30 March. Pascal Groß who has a Hamstring injury.

Prediction

Crystal Palace have immense fire power, Wilfried Zaha, Michy Batshuayi, and Christian Benteke to name but three. That should be enough to see off Brighton.

 

Crystal Palace 3 Brighton 0

 

Cardiff (18) vs West Ham (9)

Cardiff have conceded eight, Watford five and Everton three. in their last two home games. The good feel factor, from their early February south coast double at home to Bournemouth and away to Southampton, soon evaporated with three straight defeats. West Ham, who last time on the road were unlucky to lose1-0 at Manchester City, could inflict more pain.

Cardiff Team News

  • Unknown Return Date: Sol Bamba with a knee injury.

West Ham Team News

  • Unknown Return Dates: Winston Reid, lack of match fitness, Andriy Yarmolenko, Achilles injury, Jack Wilshere, ankle injury, Carlos Sánchez, knee injury.

Prediction

With eight Premier League goals and four assists this season Felipe Anderson could be the difference between the sides.

Cardiff 0 West Ham 2

 

Huddersfield (20) vs Bournemouth (12)

Against Brighton last week Huddersfield were unfortunate to end up with nothing but today they have a real opportunity to make it two home wins on the bounce. Bournemouth are poor and with only one point from their last five games, they are below Huddersfield in the current form table.

Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe is loved in Bournemouth and last week he became a freeman of Bournemouth. If he ran for mayor he would probably win that and if he appeared in pantomime, at the Bournemouth Pavilion, no doubt crowds would flock to see him. After his team beat Chelsea 4-0 there were the usual discussions about when, not if, he would manage one of the big six and England.

Pattaya One. Eddie Howe. Freedom of Bournemouth.

But Eddie’s not stupid. He knows that if Bournemouth hadn’t had got off to a flyer this season he would be in a real relegation dog fight. From their first ten games, Bournemouth picked up 20 points. Fourteen points followed from the next 19 games. Their early average of two points per game has dropped to 0.74 which, based on a full season, would have left Bournemouth with 28 points and certain relegation. Eddie Howe has a lot of work to do.

Huddersfield Team News

  • Unknown Return Dates: Demeaco Duhaney hip injury. Danny Williams lack of match fitness.
  • Expected Back 30 Mar. Adama Diakhaby hamstring injury.
  • Expected Back 16 Mar. Tommy Smith suspended. Isaac Mbenza calf injury.
  • 25% Chance of Playing: Jonathan Hogg rib Injury.
  • 50% Chance of Playing: Laurent Depoitre foot injury.
  • 75% Chance of Playing: Abdelhamid Sabiri Lack of match fitness.

Jason Puncheon

Currently on loan from Crystal Palace Jason Puncheon has not been included in the last two Huddersfield squads after falling out with boss Jan Siewart. Puncheon reportedly took exception after being substituted against Newcastle following Smith’s sending off. It remains to be seen if the pair have kissed and made up!

Pattaya One. Jason Puncheon and Jan Siewart.

Bournemouth Team News

  • Unknown Return Dates: Simon Francis and  Lewis Cook anterior cruciate ligaments. Junior Stanislas thigh injury.
  • Expected Back 13 Apr: Steve Cook groin injury.
  • 25% Chance of Playing: Dominic Solanke thigh injury.
  • 75% Chance of Playing: Callum Wilson lack of match fitness.

Prediction

Even if Wilson does make it back for Bournemouth I can’t see them winning this one especially without stalwart defenders Francis and Cook.

Huddersfield 2 Bournemouth 0

Leicester (11) vs Fulham (19)

Two teams, with recent additions to the Premier League, sacked manager race, face off with Leicester putting their faith in Brendan Rodgers. Fulham haven’t gone all in yet with Scott Parker. Rodgers nearly came away from Watford with a point last week whilst Parker would have felt a draw with Chelsea might have been a fair result.

Leicester Team News

  • Unknown Return Dates: Marc Albrighton hamstring injury. Daniel Amartey leg injury

Fulham Team News

  • Unknown Return Date: Marcus Bettinelli knee injury.
  • Expected Back 6 April: Alfie Mawson knee injury.
  • Expected Back 17 March: André Schürrle Illness.

Prediction

New managers tend to have an impact on the teams they take over but these two started with 2-1 defeats. For Fulham, Aleksandar Mitrovic has gone five games without scoring and he could end that sequence today.

Leicester 2 Fulham 2

 

 

 

 

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