Fri | Sep 22, 2017

BPL Previews

Published:Friday | January 9, 2015 | 1:00 AM
AP West Bromwich Albion's Youssof Mulumbu (left) is challenged by Newcastle United's Remy Cabella during their English Premier League match at the Hawthorns, West Bromwich, England last November.

CHELSEA (4-2-3-1)

COURTOIS

IVANOVIC CAHILL

TERRY AZPILICUETA

FABREGAS MATIC

WILLIAN OSCAR

HAZARD

COSTA

NEWCASTLE (4-2-3-1)

PEREZ

AMEOBI CISSE GOUFFRAN

SISSOKO COLBACK

DUMMETT COLOCCINI S TAYLOR JANMAAT

ALNWICK

Chelsea return to Barclays Premier League action after their shock 5-2 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on New Year's Day. That result and Manchester City's win over Burnley means they are top of the table only on alphabetical order, with identical points, goal difference and goals scored to their closest rivals.

They should be confident given their perfect home record on the league. In nine games at Stamford Bridge the Blues have won nine, scored 22 goals and conceded just three, the fewest in the top flight.

Newcastle, meanwhile, arrive with John Carver again in temporary charge following the departure of manager Alan Pardew to Crystal Palace last week.

The Magpies have won only twice away from home in the Premier League, most recently at West Bromwich Albion in November. Since then they have failed to win in four games on the road.

And their record at Stamford Bridge is poor; in 20 Premier League visits they have won just once, in May 2012. Of the other 19 games, Newcastle have lost 13 and drawn six.

EVERTON (4-2-3-1)

ROBLES

COLEMAN JAGIELKA DISTIN BAINES

McCARTHY BARRY

NAISMITH ETO'O

BARKLEY

LUKAKU

MANCHESTER CITY (4-2-3-1)

MILNER

NASRI SILVA NAVAS

FERNANDINHO ??

KOLAROV KOMPANY DEMICHELIS ZABALETA

HART

With more than half a season completed (20 games out of 38 Barclays Premier League games), Everton sit in 13th place with 21 points - 17 fewer than the 28 they had at this stage last term when they were fifth in the table and threatening for a place in the Champions League.

The Toffeemen qualified instead for the Europa League and look forward to a place in the last 16 latest this month. However, they will be more concerned with the possibility of dropping into a relegation fight; as they are they are just four points clear of the bottom three.

They face a Manchester City side that is now joint top with Chelsea; only alphabetical order separates the reigning champions with the leaders.

Everton have lost their last four league games; a fifth loss would represent their worst sequence since 2005.

Last month City beat Everton 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium thanks to a first-half Yaya Toure penalty. And last season at Goodison, City won 3-2, ending a run of four straight defeats in the Premier League at Everton.

MAN UTD (4-4-2)

DE GEA

JONES McNAIR SMALLING EVANS

VALENCIA MATA

ROONEY HERRERA

VAN PERSIE FALCAO

SOUTHAMPTON (3-5-2)

LONG PELLE

BERTRAND REED S DAVIS SCHNEIDERLIN WARD-PROWSE

YOSHIDA ALDERWEIRELD CLYNE

FORSTER

Third meets fourth in the Barclays Premier League when Southampton visit Old Trafford. Manchester United are third on 37 points, nine points behind the top two, Chelsea and Manchester City. Saints are just a point behind United, so a draw would be enough to take them above the Reds thanks to their superior goal difference.

However, though South-ampton have scored an impressive 34 goals, only 10 have come away from home, while United have conceded just seven at home (only Chelsea have let in fewer at home with three).

And United are in good form. Since they lost at Manchester City on November 2, United have remained unbeaten in 11 games, culminating with the 2-0 FA Cup win at League One side Yeovil Town on Sunday. That was United's eighth win out of those 11 games.

It is United's best unbeaten run since last season when, between October and December 2013 they avoided defeat in 12 games in all competitions.

PALACE (4-3-3)

SPERONI

KELLY DANN

HANGELAND WARD

PUNCHEON McARTHUR BANNAN LEDLEY

CAMPBELL CHAMAKH

TOTTENHAM (4-2-3-1)

KANE

CHADLI ERIKSEN LAMELA

BENTALEB MASON

DAVIES VERTONGHEN FAZIO WALKER

LLORIS

Alan Pardew takes charge of Crystal Palace for the first time in the Barclays Premier League after replacing Neil Warnock at Selhurst Park. Pardew left Newcastle after guiding the Magpies to 10th place in the league but faces the challenge of saving Palace from relegation.

Palace currently sit in the bottom three just three points off the foot of the table but Pardew led them to a 4-0 FA Cup win at non-league Dover Athletic last Sunday.

But they have failed to score in their last two games - both 0-0 draws, against Queens Park Rangers and Aston Villa - and have gone eight league games without a win.

Palace's last victory was at Selhurst Park, the shock 3-1 win over Liverpool in late November. And that was one of only two home wins all season, while they have been beaten five times at Selhurst and drawn two more.

Tottenham arrive in fifth place and unbeaten in their last six league games. Since losing 3-0 at Chelsea in early December, they have won five and drawn two of seven. That run includes a goalless draw with Manchester United and a stunning 5-3 victory over leaders Chelsea on New Year's Day.