Tue | May 23, 2017

BPL previews

Published:Friday | August 7, 2015 | 8:00 AM

AFC B'MOUTH VS ASTON VILLA

Barclays Premier League newcomers AFC Bournemouth are in the top flight for the first time in their history. Arguably the 'smallest' club ever to feature in the Premier League - they have a stadium with a capacity of less than 12,000, and just six years ago, they finished 21st in the fourth tier of the English game. Villa lost the FA Cup final 4-0 against Arsenal and have lost key players Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke.

EVERTON

VS WATFORD

Watford are back in the Barclays Premier League and with a new boss, head coach Enrique S·nchez Flores, who played for Spanish clubs Valencia, Real Madrid and Real Zaragoza, and has since coached the likes of Valencia, Benfica (Portugal) and AtlÈtico Madrid. He faces fellow Spaniard Roberto MartÌnez, whose Everton side struggled last season, finishing in 11th place, their lowest placing since 2005-06.

LEICESTER CITY VS SUNDERLAND

After keeping Sunderland in the Barclays Premier League last term, interim boss Dick Advocaat said he was returning to Holland. Fans persuaded him to change his mind and now he takes his side to another team that just survived relegation after a remarkable run of seven wins and a draw from their last nine. But while Leicester survived, manager Nigel Pearson did not and so former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri takes charge for the first time.

NORWICH CITY VS CRYSTAL PALACE

Norwich are back in the Premier League and, under manager Alex Neil hopes are high that the Canaries will retain their status. Palace brought in Alan Pardew as their boss in early 2014 and his record is impressive with the club finishing in 12th spot. Palace last won at Norwich in 2010.

NEWCASTLE VS SOUTHAMPTON

Newcastle have a new boss in former England manager Steve McClaren and after the poor season they suffered last term they will be keen to make a mark even if the jury is out on their manager. Saints are unbeaten in their last four against the Magpies, winning the last three.

STOKE CITY

VS LIVERPOOL

Liverpool have much to prove as they look to find a top-four finish. Boss Brendan Rodgers has signed Manchester City's James Milner, Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne and Villa's Belgium front man Christian Benteke. Revenge could be in the air after the massive 6-1 Stoke win last May.