What a sporting week we’ve witnessed, including one of the all-time greatest comebacks in sport, and for the record I’m talking about The America’s Cup in San Francisco, not Norwich’s League Cup win against Watford in Hertfordshire! And of course this was on the back of a decent set of fixtures in the Premier League that saw Manchester turn blue, and that wasn’t just the language used by a certain ex-manager sat in the directors’ box.

EPL Predictions & Team News 28 - 30 Sept 2013

For the latest Premier League Team News, check out this weeks!

I’m not sure this week’s fixtures are going to be classics, in fact it opens with probably the pick of the whole weekend. So sit back and read on for our Premier League Predictions and Team News 28 – 30 September 2013.

Tottenham v Chelsea – Saturday 28 September 2013 – 1245KO

The coming together of Darth Vader and Ben Kenobi on the touchline, and I can imagine a certain ‘Special One’ saying something like ‘You can’t win, AVB. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.’

Interestingly it is Spurs who have settled into their stride so far this season and currently have the best defensive record in Europe, conceding only 1 goal so far this season, however they struggled against Chelsea’s movement up front last season, so we will see what happens today.

Premier League Team News: Danny Rose should be fit to start this derby, and Spurs will also be boosted that Lennon and Capoue are back in training. Second guessing Mourinho is a hard thing, what we do know is that Van Ginkel will not play again this season after injuring his knee against Swindon and Ramires picked up a knock. Expect Lampard to start after being rested recently.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-2
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Oscar

Aston Villa v Manchester City – Saturday 28 September 2013 – 1500KO

What a week it has been for City, scoring 4 against their nearest and dearest last Sunday in front of the TV cameras, and they followed it up by going nap midweek in the League Cup. The League Cup didn’t look too high on Villa’s priorities judging by their performance against Spurs and they have a huge hole to fill in their side for the next month or so, with the news that the pivotal Benteke is out.

Premier League Team News: As mentioned above Benteke is out for the home side along with Holman and N’Zogbia, which means Kozak will lead the line up front with Agbonlahor nearby. Man City still have a doubt over Silva’s fitness but him and Demichelis apart, everyone is at full fitness.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-3
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Yaya Toure

Fulham v Cardiff – Saturday 28 September 2013 – 1500Ko

The big news from The Cottage this week is the statue has been removed, and I’m not talking about Phillipe Senderos (Joke via @dannykellywords), yes the statue Big Mo Fayed put at the ground to honour their number one fan Michael Jackson, who saw a match back in 1999, has been removed from the stadium.

It is about the most exciting thing to happen so far in Fulham’s season although they did look better against Everton in midweek with Scott Parker now starting to get back to full match fitness and pull the strings in their midfield. Cardiff have suffered two late losses in the past week, so they will need to get at their opponents early.

Premier League Team News: Berbatov returned to fitness in midweek and is expected to partner Bent upfront for Fulham, for whom Ruiz is still a major doubt. Odemwingie has put himself into contention for the Cardiff starting XI after an impressive midweek performance, who are still missing Cornelius.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Scott Parker

Hull City v West Ham – Saturday 28 September 2013 – 1500KO

West Ham travel to Hull and back this weekend after finding their shooting boots in the last 7 days, however this seems to have come at the price of losing their defensive cohesion. Hull themselves, certainly ignored my predictions whilst beating Newcastle at St James’ last weekend by the odd goal in five.

Premier League Team News: Figueroa will return after missing last weekend’s fixture through personal reasons, whilst defender Chester is out for 8 weeks and could be replaced by Hammers old boy Abdoulaye Faye. The game seems to have come too early for Cole and Downing who are working their way back to fitness. Demel will also miss out at full-back whilst Noble returns after serving a one-match ban in midweek.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Sone Aluko

Manchester United v West Brom – Saturday 28 September 2013 – 1500KO

Are United really kicking off at the traditional time of 3pm on a Saturday? I guess that is punishment for the drubbing they received last weekend, they did recover to beat Liverpool in what suddenly became a must win League Cup fixture.

The Baggies put in a strong performance last weekend when disposing of Sunderland which will give them some extra confidence.

Premier League Team News: Javier Hernandez is on standby to start for United if Van Persie fails to recover from his knock. David Moyes also has to decide on whether to bring back the centre half pairing of Vidic and Ferdinand after last week’s heavy defeat. The Baggies have doubts over forwards Anelka and Anichebe.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-0
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Wayne Rooney

Southampton v Crystal Palace – Saturday 28 September 2013 – 1500KO

The Saints pulled out all the stops last week, taking all three points on their travels to Anfield, keeping a clean sheet and more importantly scoring a goal. They will be looking to carry on that momentum against a Palace side who were chasing shadows against Swansea.

Premier League Team News: The Saints have a full squad to choose from, and are likely to keep faith with the team that won last weekend. Kagisho Dikgaco returns to the Palace squad after seeing out a one-match ban.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-1
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Gaston Rameriz

Swansea v Arsenal – Saturday 28 September 2013 – 1730KO

If the opening game of the weekend is the must watch, this could well be a feast for the eyes as long as one of the sides takes the initiative and both are not just sitting back waiting for the quick counter.

Swansea really looked the part against Palace, and Michu looked in very good touch playing just off the main striker, although Arsenal lost Walcott in their warm-up against Stoke to an abdominal problem, they looked steady and the European assist king Özil did what he does best.

Premier League Team News: Swans skipper Ashley Williams is still being troubled by an ankle injury and is rated as doubtful, whilst Bony should return up front, with Michu playing in the hole behind. Ramsey and Flamini should both start for Arsenal despite carrying knocks. Walcott is out for 6 weeks after surgery meaning Gnabry should keep his place in the side.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Michu

Stoke v Norwich – Sunday 29 September 2013 – 1330KO

90 minutes of this or sit on the naughty step? It’s a close run thing.

Norwich seem to have problems finding the net so far this season despite their outlay on attacking players, but Gary Hooper did get a run out in midweek against Watford in the Cup and did what he has been doing regularly for the last couple of seasons in Scotland, scoring goals.

Stoke fans will have been encouraged by their start to the season, but need a couple of back to back wins to see them sitting comfortably in the top half of the table and will be targeting this one as a very winnable game.

Premier League Team News: Erik Pieters should overcome an injury to start for Stoke, whilst Crouch is pushing for a place in the starting line-up. The Canaries have doubts over Bassong and Van Wolfswinkel but are hopeful at least one of the pair will be passed fit.

Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-1
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Marko Arnautovic

Sunderland v Liverpool – Sunday 29 September 2013 – 1600Ko

The appointment of Paolo di Canio was always going to be an interesting experiment and it’s pretty much come to the conclusion the majority would have guessed. A disaster.

Although it does beg the question why was the manager allowed to change virtually the whole squad together with the back room staff if they were going to lose the faith so early in the season.
I reckon this could be a good opportunity for a up and coming manager to fill as there is untapped potential there.

Liverpool suffered at the hands of Southampton last weekend, similarly to the way they did on many occasions last season, in that they were just not ruthless enough at home to kill teams off. We will see how they react to this and their midweek defeat to rivals United with interest.

Premier League Team News: Steven Fletcher’s injury hit start to the season continues as he is unlikely to recover from a shoulder injury he received against West Brom last week. Suarez returns to Premier League action after his enforced absence for Liverpool who may play 3 centre-backs as they did in midweek.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 1-1
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Emanuele Giaccherini

Everton v Newcastle United – Monday 30 September 2013 – 2000KO

You would have got good odds on predicting after only 5 matches of the season Everton would be the only undefeated Premier League side, and they showed some decent character, as well as some superb dead ball skills by Leighton Baines when coming from behind to beat West Ham a week ago.

Newcastle on the other hand are a gamblers worst nightmare, two weeks ago I wouldn’t have touched them with a bargepole away at Villa, whilst at home to Hull last week I think they would have been on a lot of peoples long list as a banker.

Premier League Team News: Everton have doubts over Pienaar, Kone and Osman, who all may end up joining Alcaraz in the stands. Lukaku will be handed his first start. Cabaye is Newcastle’s main problem but they are hoping not playing until Monday will give him the time to recover.
Premier League Betting Prediction: 2-1
Sky Sports Fantasy Star Man: Romelu Lukaku

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