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Stats: 1060998 members, 1230981 topics. Date: Monday, 20 May 2013 at 01:55 AM
|Premier League Preview by aalani(m): 5:11pm On Dec 27, 2008|
Several mouth-watering match-ups are in the offing as the Premier League gears up for a second round of festive fixtures in the space of just 48 hours.
Joe Kinnear's Newcastle United, who suffered their first loss in seven outings against Wigan Athletic, host Liverpool in what has proved to be an enthralling clash in the past, as Michael Owen faces his former club while the league leaders aim to continue their hunt for a first league title since 1990.
Manchester City manager Mark Hughes then returns to his old stomping ground at Blackburn Rovers in the last of Sunday's games. Hughes, who was in charge at Ewood Park for four years, will be seeking to build on the 5-1 mauling of Hull City when he locks horns with recently appointed Rovers chief Sam Allardyce.
Arsenal tackle Portsmouth in one of six 3pm kick-offs, as former Gunners captain Tony Adams returns to North London. Adams has come under pressure of late following three successive losses, while the inconsistent Gunners must address reclaiming fourth place before contemplating a title push.
Ricky Sbragia will lead his Sunderland charges for the first time since being named as Roy Keane's permanent successor, when the club head to Goodison Park to face Everton. Sbragia impressed during his short caretaker reign, taking seven points from a possible 12, and was rewarded with the position on Saturday.
Luiz Felipe Scolari's second-placed Chelsea got back on track at home on Friday and next make the short trip to West London rivals Fulham . Roy Hodgson has proved to be a huge success at Craven Cottage, with his charges currently unbeaten in the top flight since 1st November, and ruthless in defence.
Bottom-of-the-table West Bromwich Albion welcome Harry Redknapp's Tottenham Hotspur, who sit outside of the drop zone on goal difference, to The Hawthorns. The Baggies could aim to seize on their opponents' dip in form, with Spurs without victory in their last three attempts.
Stoke City slipped into the relegation places after their late loss against Manchester United and will be eager to rediscover winning ways when they face Gianfrano Zola's West Ham United at Upton Park. The Hammers will go into the game buoyed by an impressive win on the South Coast - their first in five encounters.
Two sides in contrasting form do battle at the Reebok Stadium, with Bolton Wanderers suffering defeat in three of their last four fixtures and Wigan Athletic managing four victories in five attempts. Just two points separate the mid-table pair, with a push for a European berth this term a realistic possibility for both.
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