Premier League: Super Sunday sees the Merseyside derby and Chelsea against Manchester United
Super Sunday hosts the Merseyside derby and Premier League title rivals Chelsea take on Manchester United.
Last Updated: 26/10/12 12:47pm
Saturday sees a reunion between Paul Lambert and Norwich City, who visit struggling Aston Villa live on Sky Sports, while Arsenal will aim to address their recent problems against winless Queens Park Rangers.
Manchester City will be aiming to bounce back from UEFA Champions League disappointment when they host Swansea City among the six games on the first day of the weekend.
Super Sunday kicks off in style with the lunchtime Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park. David Moyes' home team are in the rare situation of going into the game as favourites against their neighbours after opening a six-point and eight-position advantage. But the old clichés about form and derbies will all be given an airing and Liverpool will remain confident after winning all three of their meetings with Everton in the league and cup last season. It is also likely to be a fiery contest when it is remembered there have been more red cards in this fixture than any other in Premier League history (20).
Chelsea and Manchester United meet as the final game of the weekend and it is debatably the biggest match of the season so far, as first meets second in the table. Roberto Di Matteo's home side lead the way and have a four-point cushion, meaning they will remain top of the pile whatever happens on Sunday. But Sir Alex Ferguson's United will want to capitalise on potentially dented Chelsea confidence after the champions of Europe lost to Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek. United have won four and lost none of the last five matches against Chelsea in all competitions but they have also won just one of the last 12 trips to Stamford Bridge.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Tottenham Hotspur will aim to get back on track after Andre Villas-Boas suffered an unhappy meeting with former club Chelsea last weekend. Spurs visit a Southampton side who have taken just four points from eight games to leave them sitting in the relegation zone. Nigel Adkins' position as manager has been questioned as a result and he will know his team still need to address their defensive problems having trailed in all eight Premier League games at some point, the only team to be behind in all of their league games.
Newcastle United, like Tottenham, slightly rested from midweek Europa League action, also play on Sunday as they welcome West Bromwich Albion to St James' Park. Steve Clarke's Baggies have made a fine start to the campaign and sit sixth after eight games. Newcastle would likely prefer to swap positions with West Brom after making an inconsistent beginning to a season before which they had plans for qualifying for the Champions League. Last weekend's feisty derby draw at Sunderland has left Alan Pardew's team in the bottom half of the table.
Saturday lunchtime's game between Aston Villa and Norwich City, which can be seen live on Sky Sports 2HD, puts Lambert up against his former club after the Villa boss left Carrow Road this summer. The Scot has found life hard as he continues to attempt to make his mark on Villa and they have won just one Premier League game. A tricky fixture against Lambert's former club, who will be on a high since defeating Arsenal, is therefore not likely to have been top of his wish-list.
The evening match sees Manchester City host Swansea City. The defending champions have not been at their best since the beginning of the season and are facing Champions League elimination following Wednesday's defeat by Ajax. Roberto Mancini took the blame for the loss in Holland and much has been debated about his tinkering between a three and four-man defence. The Italian will be demanding his players show the attitude which saw them come from a goal down to win at West Brom last weekend with just 10 men.
Arsenal have endured a terrible week. After defeat by Norwich, they were again extremely disappointing as they lost to Schalke in the Champions League before boss Arsene Wenger came under fire at the club's AGM. A London derby at Emirates Stadium against a QPR team who are propping up the table could be viewed as an ideal motivation for a potentially impressive and responsive win but Mark Hughes' visitors will have gained some self-belief after arguably their best performance of the season in last Sunday's 1-1 draw with Everton.
Last season's Championship winners, Reading, have found life tough since returning to the Premier League and, like QPR, have yet to collect a win. The Royals have won none of their last six Premier League matches at the Madejski Stadium, which includes their last spell in the top flight. Martin Jol's Fulham will therefore hope they can find some consistency and win back-to-back games for the first time this season when they visit.
Wigan Athletic welcome West Ham United to the DW Stadium, with the home team only one point above the relegation zone and the visitors flying high in seventh position. Roberto Martinez will also be worried by the fact Wigan have won none and lost five of their last six Premier League home games against sides from London.
Elsewhere, Stoke Cityand Sunderland meet at the Britannia Stadium, where the Potters are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League matches while Sunderland have won none of their last 11 top-flight away games.