The early kick off this weekend sees Chelsea travel north to face Newcastle at St James' Park with the Magpies looking to add to their win in this fixture last season, which was their first at home to the Blues since 2006. Moussa Sissoko was the hero that day, but without a Premier League goal in over 10 months, the Frenchman is unlikely to repeat his goalscoring exploits against Jose Mourinho's team's tight defence that has conceded only six goals in nine league matches so far this season.
West Ham host Aston Villa in an all claret-and-blue affair at Upton Park, and while it should be entertaining it is unlikely to be a pretty match. Villa have played a higher proportion of their passes long (15.7%) than any other team in the Premier League this season, closely followed by West Ham (15.6%), so expect the ball to spend plenty of time in the air in this encounter.
West Brom have won none of their last five meetings with Crystal Palace but with Palace having lost each of their last six matches since beating Sunderland earlier this season, Albion will be hopeful of ending their poor run. Palace have the worst goalscoring record (6) and second worst defensive record (19 goals conceded) in the Premier League this season and a tough trip to the Hawthorns won't be the place to change either of those for the better.
Stoke against Southampton has the potential to be a low scoring affair, with Saints boasting the second best defensive record in Europe's top five leagues, having shipped just three goals all season, while Stoke have netted only twice in four games at home. Stoke could struggle to break down a Southampton defence that has only been breached by Robin van Persie in their last six outings and the visitors will hope to nick another narrow win.
Manchester City lost only two home games in the league last season, one to Manchester United and another against Norwich when the title was already decided in May. The Canaries will be unlikely to repeat that feat against a City side that are only two points ahead of their underachieving rivals despite scoring more goals than any Premier League team (21) this season. There have been 30 goals in these teams' last five Premier League outings so City could be rampant.
United, meanwhile, travel to the capital, where they are unbeaten in their last 11 visits, this to face Fulham, for whom Martin Jol is clinging onto his job as manager. The wondergoals the Cottagers scored at Crystal Palace recently disguised problems that they are having in attack, where they have managed only four goals from open play all season. They have scored five set piece goals, from which United have been susceptible, and that might be the key to any upset that could be on cards.
Gus Poyet will be hoping to build on victory in last week's Tyne-Wear derby when travelling to Hull this weekend, but having lost his only away game in charge of the Black Cats 4-0 to Swansea, hard work will be needed. His team have been wasteful in front of goal this season, hitting the target with the lowest proportion of their attempts (21.5%) in the top flight, and that will need to be improved if they are to over a Hull team that have performed above expectations so far.
The game of the weekend sees Arsenal host Liverpool in the late kick off on Saturday, hoping to add to their solitary win in their last six home Premier League matches against Liverpool. This could be the Gunners' first real test of the season, having only faced Tottenham and Swansea of all teams currently in the top half of the table. With these sides second (57) and third (54) in the league for shots on target this season, there should be chances aplenty.
Spurs travel to Everton for another north London versus Merseyside affair having lost last season's encounter despite leading going into the 90th minute of the match. Injury-time goals from Steven Pienaar and Nikica Jelavic won the Toffees the three points, but with Spurs keeping three clean sheets in four away games this season, they might not let any lead slip quite so meekly this time around, though the exploits of Romelu Lukaku could still cause problems.
The first ever all-Welsh Premier League match takes place on Sunday, as Cardiff host Swansea in what will be an intense affair. Swansea are likely to dominate possession, having averaged 58.5% this season, but the home crowd will make things difficult for them, and the profile of the game could mean plenty of cards.
Alistair Tweedale is the Editor-in-Chief of WhoScored.com
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