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- Permiership Rugby Action: Harlequins vs Newcastle
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A Look At This Weekend’s Permier League ActionThursday, November 17th, 2011
This weekend sees another round in the Premier League, and as always there are some cracking match ups in prospect. Here is a guide to what to look out for in some of the key games.
Saturday sees a couple of interesting fixtures, the first of which is when 16th place Fulham travel to Sunderland, currently sitting one place above them. This might not have the glamour of a Manchester derby, but should be a fascinating contest; After a host of signings this Summer, Sunderland have taken time to get going, but there are signs that things are starting to come together and they will fancy their chances against a Fulham side who have struggled away from home this season so far.
Norwich (9th) host Arsenal (7th) in another mid-table clash. Norwich have looked shaky defensively so far this season and their 9th place probably flatters them a bit. Arsenals big guns will fancy their chances of putting a couple past a side that hasn’t changed greatly since they were playing a division lower this time last year, especially if all the London club’s internationals have recovered from last weekend’s action. After a terrible start to their season, Arsenal look to be heading for a top four place with Van Persie hitting top form and should be too strong for the Canaries.
The standout fixture this weekend looks to be 6th place Liverpool’s visit to fourth place Chelsea. Stamford bridge doesn’t have the same aura as a season or two ago and Chelsea are on a particularly poor run of form, especially the 5-3 home loss to Arsenal. Their defense has looked far from composed and in danger of conceding goals even against some of the weaker sides in the league.
Liverpool have also had their shaky moments recently and there were a few sighs of relief as they managed to avoid going down at home to lowly Swansea. However, if Liverpool had put away a few early chances, the match would have been very different. The merseysiders look like they could really run up a big score the day things click in the first 20-30 minutes. The question is, will this be on Sunday?
The bottom two sides met on Saturday in another battle to avoid relegation as Blackburn visit Wigan. Wigan apparently look destined for the drop, having lost their last eight premiership fixtures. Statistics don’t always tell the whole story though. in four of these eight games, Wigan has actually managed more shots on goal than their opposition. Their run of luck in front of goal has to turn around sometime. Historically, games between these two sides have always produced goals and with both teams needing a result, this could well continue this weekend. High-scoring games tend to follow the referee for this fixture, Andre Marriner, too, so there is a good chance for Blackburn’s strikers, Formica and Yakubu.
A few interesting encounters this weekend then, with the possibility of a high-scoring game or two as well, which should make the over/under markets good value as well.