19 years on from the last time PJ and Duncan were in the charts and Manchester United are still romping away with the Premier League, it seems a little like the league time forgot!! Anyway, after a week off from top level domestic action due to the indifferent international break we are back!!

EPL Predictions & Team News 30 / 31 Mar 2013

Sunderland v Manchester United – Saturday 30 March 2013 – 1245 KO

Without trying to sound like Gregg Wallace from Masterchef, football doesn’t get any tougher than this! Sunderland are now deep in a relegation scrap and can’t buy a win from anywhere, so what do you need when you are down in the dumps? That’s right a visit from the champions elect and news that your captain and star forward won’t play again this season.

Premier League Team News: Martin O’Neill has an injury nightmare for this game.  Fletcher and Cattermole will miss the rest of the season, whilst David Vaughan, Cueller and Sessegnon all look likely to miss this one. United are nearing full fitness for the run in and could have Jones and Scholes back from injury.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 0-2
Dream Team Star Man: Wayne Rooney

Arsenal v Reading – Saturday 30 March 2013 – 1500KO

Well, this is what you call a baptism of fire for new Royals boss Nigel Adkins, but at least he can look back after this season and say ‘I took one side to Premier League safety this season’. Unfortunately for him it’s not the team he is currently managing. My big problem with Nigel Adkins is that he loves to talk about himself in the third person!

Premier League Team News: The Gunners have a couple of issues in midfield with Wilshere still 2 weeks away from full fitness and the news that the fragile Diaby is out until Christmas with a knee injury. Walcott is also missing. Reading will welcome Pogrebnyak back to the squad after suspension.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 4-1
Dream Team Star Man: Santi Carzola

Manchester City v Newcastle– Saturday 30 March 2013 – 1500 KO

This fixture is now just a run of the mill end of the season game with not much riding on it, who would have thought that 2 months ago when City were in with a shout of retaining the title and Newcastle were looking over their shoulders at the Championship.

Premier League Team News: Kompany will return after having a run out for Belgium in midweek. Aguero also returns to the squad. Alan Pardew has a long list of injuries including Tiote, Santon, Debauchy and Krul.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-1
Dream Team Star Man: Vincent Kompany

Southampton v Chelsea – Saturday 30 March 2013 – 1500KO

This is my fixture of the day, for the reason I honestly can’t call it and could be a coupon buster for all of you punters out there. The Saints were very good last time out when hammering Liverpool and the international break probably came at the wrong time for them, and with Chelsea such a mixed bag at the moment who knows how they will perform? Anyway I’m going to sit on the fence and call this one a draw!

Premier League Team News: Skipper Lallana is a doubt for The Saints along with the much watched young full back Luke Shaw. Chelsea could rest players ahead of a midweek FA Cup fixture against Manchester United.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Dream Team Star Man: Juan Mata

Swansea v Tottenham – Saturday 30 March 2013 – 1500KO

Both of these sides have got to be careful that their seasons now don’t just peter out. Both are pretty much guaranteed European football next season it’s just which one Spurs will play in. Will they be on the top table with the Bride and Groom or will they be sitting somewhere near the back with the weird Uncle you didn’t really want to invite anyway?

Premier League Team News: Chico could return in time for this fixture after 7 weeks on the sidelines, whilst Dawson and Lennon should be fit for the visitors despite pulling out of international duty last week.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-2
Dream Team Star Man: Ashley Williams

West Ham v West Brom – Saturday 30 March 2013 – 1730 KO

This is a fixture guaranteed to be shown last on Match of the Day and certainly not one for the purists! West Ham will do their usual thing of pressuring their opposition and looking to capitalise on mistakes, whilst The Baggies will do the opposite and sit back, soak up the pressure and try and break quickly on the counter attack. And for that reason I can see both sides cancelling one another out.

Premier League Team News: Mark Noble is West Hams only injury now as Nolan, Cole and McCartney are all now fit. James Morrison is a doubt for West Brom after picking up an injury with Scotland.
Premier League Betting Prediction:  0-0
Dream Team Star Man: Ben Foster

Wigan v Norwich – Sunday 30 March 2013 – 1500KO

Norwich obviously consider themselves to be safe after announcing the record signing of Ricky van Wolfwhistle (or something similar) for next season and I reckon now this means they will coast along to the end of the season and not pick up many more points. Wigan on the other hand are desperate for them and I think they can overturn some very dodgy home form and pick up all three points.

Premier League Team News: Ironically after not getting a retrospective ban from The FA after his poor challenge, Callum McManaman will sit this game out through injury for the home side. Lee Camp will start in goal for Norwich with Mark Bunn suspended and John Ruddy not yet at full fitness.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-0
Dream Team Star Man: Arouna Kone

Everton v Stoke – Sunday 30 March 2013 – 1730 KO

Regular readers of this column must think I am very anti-Stoke as I don’t seem to have many complementary things to say about them, and it may look that way again but I can’t see them improving on their one win in 10 EPL games. Everton will just be to strong for the Potters come Sunday.

Premier League Team News: Howard and Jageilka return to the ranks after injury for The Toffees but both Pienaar and Felliani are suspended for this one. Stoke are at full strength now with Rob Huth returning after suspension.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-0
Dream Team Star Man: Nikica Jelavic

Aston Villa v Liverpool – Sunday 31 March 2013 – 1600KO

Could Villa rise from the dead (poor Easter pun!) and take all three points against a Liverpool side who struggle a little on their travels? 3 wins on the bounce is unheard of though in this part of the Midlands, at least for this season.

Premier League Team News: Bent, Baker and Delph are all back in the squad for Villa, whilst Reina should reclaim the keepers jersey for Liverpool.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-0
Dream Team Star Man: Darren Bent

Fulham v QPR – Monday 1 April 2013 – 2000 KO

QPR are surely goners if they don’t manager to claim all 3 points in this West London derby but they’ve found goals a little easier to come by on the road this season and could exploit a Fulham defence that has looked very vulnerable at times this year, even if they did a great job of shackling Gareth Bale last time out.

Premier League Team News: Diarra is Fulhams main injury doubt. QPR have Zamora available again and Harry Redknapp has a big decision on whether to start Green or Cesar in goal.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-2
Dream Team Star Man: Loic Remy

There we have it, the Premier League is back and under starters orders, and we can’t wait for the final run in. It’s just a pity the title has already been decided.



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