Premier League preview
Manchester City will need to prove their title credentials when they travel to Newcastle, with Manchester United hosting Sunderland later on Saturday.
By Rob Parrish - Follow me on Twitter @skysportsrobp
Last Updated: 17/12/12 12:32pm
Manchester City will need to prove their title credentials when they travel to Newcastle, live on Sky Sports, with leaders Manchester United hosting Sunderland later on Saturday.
Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp will hope to secure a first win for the club at the 17th time of asking this term as Fulham travel to Loftus Road for a London derby, while Aston Villa will be keen to transfer their Capital One Cup form to the Premier League as they tackle Liverpool.
Norwich are unbeaten in nine Premier League games under Chris Hughton ahead of the weekend visit of Wigan, with in-from Stoke City playing host to Everton to complete Saturday's schedule.
The Sky Sports cameras are at White Hart Lane on Sunday for Tottenham's home meeting with Capital One Cup semi-finalists Swansea, before switching to the Hawthorns later in the afternoon as West Brom take on West Ham.
Manchester City suffered their first defeat of the season at home to derby rivals United last weekend and Roberto Mancini has demanded a response from his squad against a Newcastle side who have lost five of their last six. The Premier League champions are now six points adrift of their fierce foes but have the opportunity to trim the gap to three as the St James' Park contest kicks off the weekend action at lunchtime, live on Sky Sports 2HD.
Regardless of the result in the North East, Sir Alex Ferguson will have told his Manchester United side to press home their advantage in the title race against a Sunderland team who halted a run of just one point from four games with an essential victory over Reading in midweek. Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill has masterminded Old Trafford victories for Aston Villa and Leicester in the past, but Sunderland have not won at United since 1968.
QPR are unbeaten under new boss Redknapp, but all three of his matches at the helm have ended in deadlock, with Fulham making the journey across London to Loftus Road on Saturday. The former Spurs boss has been preaching the necessity of claiming a first three-point haul with the Rs now eight points adrift and still to win this season in 16 attempts. The Cottagers defeated Newcastle on Monday but have drawn four and lost one of their last five away games.
Aston Villa are only out of the bottom three on goal difference and face a significant test on Saturday as they travel to Anfield to face Liverpool. But Paul Lambert's side booked their place in the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup in midweek by sweeping aside his former club Norwich 4-1, a victory tempered by Darren Bent's hamstring injury. Brendan Rodgers' Reds, who will welcome back Luis Suarez following suspension, are in good form on home turf, with three wins and two draws in a five-game unbeaten spell.
Norwich have enjoyed a four-game winning run in front of the Carrow Road faithful in the Premier League and will be confident of extending that sequence when relegation-threatened Wigan make the trip to East Anglia. The midweek cup defeat at the hands of Villa halted an unbeaten run of 10 games in all competitions but Hughton will be aware that the Latics have lost five of their last six on the road to slip into the bottom three of the top-flight.
Stoke are second only to Manchester United in the Premier League form table and are again proving a tough nut to crack on home turf, with four victories and three draws so far at the Britannia Stadium. Everton are the next opponents on the agenda for Tony Pulis' side, with David Moyes' men snapping a four-game winless run with their thrilling 2-1 success over Tottenham last weekend.
That Goodison Park reverse halted a three-game winning run for Andre-Villas Boas' Tottenham ahead of Sunday's home clash with Swansea, which can be seen live on Sky Sports 1HD. Spurs are one of three clubs locked on 26 points in the battle for UEFA Champions League football next term, while the Swans will have to return their focus to Premier League matters having reached the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night by overcoming Middlesbrough.
Super Sunday concludes with West Brom welcoming West Ham to the Hawthorns, live on Sky Sports 1HD. Steve Clarke's men are behind Everton and Tottenham on goal difference alone, despite having suffered three successive defeats, to Swansea, Stoke and Arsenal. The Hammers have lost three of their last four - against Tottenham, Manchester United and Liverpool - with their only success the memorable triumph over Chelsea at Upton Park.