Premier League preview

The Premier League is back after the international break and there are some fascinating match-ups to look forward to.

QPR prepare for Chelsea clash; AVB's Spurs visit Reading

Premier League leaders Chelsea make the short trip to Loftus Road to take on Queens Park Rangers in a fixture that has proved explosive in recent times. The Blues were reduced to nine men in this fixture last season as the Hoops inflicted a 1-0 defeat on the now European champions. Tensions will also be increased by Chelsea captain John Terry's successful court battle against a charge of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand last season. Both Terry and Ashley Cole - who was a defence witness in that trial - are hoping to overcome ankle injuries to feature. Meanwhile, at the Britannia Stadium new arrival Michael Owen will be hoping to make his debut for Stoke against the Premier League champions Manchester City. Owen hit a memorable late winner against City for Manchester United in 2009 and would love a repeat against a side that has looked a little jittery in conceding two goals in each of their first three matches.


At the foot of the table, Southampton are the only team without a point thus far despite a bright start to their campaign and it doesn't get much easier for Nigel Adkins' men as they travel to Arsenal. The Gunners have yet to concede in their opening three games and summer signing Olivier Giroud will be desperate to get off the mark after his big-money arrival from Montpellier. Liverpool are also a team in need of a win as they take on Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Brendan Rodgers' team have endured a disappointing start to the season, finding themselves in the relegation zone, and they will be aiming to mark an emotional week for the club with a win. At Old Trafford, Manchester United will be without star forward Wayne Rooney and potentially new signings Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa through injury but will still fancy their chances of picking up three points against Wigan. And there's an intriguing clash between two new managers who have experienced contrasting fortunes in the early stages of the season as Aston Villa host Swansea at Villa Park. Paul Lambert is still searching for a first Premier League win in charge of the home side while Michael Laudrup is yet to taste defeat for the division's top scorers.
Fulham host a West Brom side that can go top of the league if they win at Craven Cottage and results elsewhere go their way. But before we discover the outcome of all those games, there is the prospect of Norwich against West Ham from Carrow Road and you can see that live on Sky Sports 2 HD at 12:45 on Saturday. On Sunday, the live televised game at 16:00 on Sky Sports 1 HD sees Reading host Tottenham at the Madejski Stadium. Both teams are looking for their first win of the season and, after a summer of upheaval for Spurs, the pressure is already on Andre Villas-Boas to get the north London side's season on track.

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