EPL 2012-13: Match Previews of Game Week 1

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EPL 2012-13: Match Preview Game Week 1
London, Aug 17: The new season of Barclays Premier League kick-starts on Saturday. Here is a look at the preview of fixtures.

EPL 2012-13 Special

EPL 2012-13: Newcastle vs Tottenham Preview

West Ham vs Aston Villa - Upton Park

New Villa boss Paul Lambert has been handed the task to guide the Lions to top 10 in the table after struggling last season. The Villans begin their new campaign against newly promoted side West Ham United at Upton Park.

Sam Allardyce's new recruits Jussi Jaaskelainen, Stephen Henderson, Mohamed Diame, Alou Diarra and Modibo Maiga could all make the cut while defender James Collins is likely to face his former club. Skipper Keven Nolan could also start.

Villa's Marc Albrighton, Richard Dunne and Gabriel Agbonlahor are sidelined due to injury while new signings Ron Vlaar and Karim El Ahmadi should start for the visitors.

Trivia: Aston Villa failed to win their last 10 league games. West Ham have lost only 1 match in 2012.

Probable Lineups:

West Ham (4-4-2): Jaaskelainen-Demel, Reid, Collins, O'Brien-Tomkins, Diame, Noble, Vaz Te-Maiga, Cole.

Aston Villa (4-4-2): Given-Lichaj, Clark, Vlaar, Bannan-Ireland, El Ahmadi, Delph, N'Zogbia-Bent, Weimann.

Arsenal vs Sunderland - Emirates Stadium

Gunners begin life after Robin van Persie with Sunderland visiting the Emirates. Arsenal's high profile summer signings Oliver Giroud, Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski could start along with winger Theo Walcott. Newly appointed captain Thomas Vermaelen will lead in defence with Laurent Koscielny.

Aaron Ramsey and Barcelona target Alex Song will start in midfield while Bacary Sagna and Mikel Arteta are doubtful.

Sunderland have had a poor pre-season campaign ahead of the big kick-off. The Black Cats are suffering from few injury problems to Wes Brown, Phil Bardsley and David Vaughan. Playmaker Stephane Sessegon should start while new signing Louis Saha could start upfront in attack.

Trivia: The Gunners have lost just one of their last 17 league games against Sunderland. The Black Cats failed to score a single goal through corners last season, but conceded 28% of the goals from headers.

Probable Lineups:

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Szczesny-Djourou, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs-Ramsey, Song-Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski-Giroud.

Sunderland (4-4-2): Mignolet-O'Shea, Bramble, Cuellar, Richardson-Larsson, Cattermole, Colback, McClean, Sessegnon-Saha.

Fulham vs Norwich City - Craven Cottage

Fulham boss Martin Jol has excluded American forward Clint Dempsey from his squad due to the ongoing transfer talks regarding the 29-year-old forward. New signing Hugo Rodallega and Mladen Petric should set the guns blazing for the Londoners while Kerim Frei, Philippe Senderos and Zdenek Grygera are unavailable.

For Norwich new signings Steven Whittaker and Jacob Butterfield will miss out, but Robert Snodgrass and Michael Turner should get the nod. Manager Chris Hughton's first match in charge in the Premier League after being sacked by Newcastle. Attacking midfielders Wes Hoolahan and Anthony Pilkington will be available if they pass the fitness test.

Trivia: Norwich last won at Craven Cottage in Jan 1986, 26 years ago.

Probable Lineups:

Fulham (4-4-2): Schwarzer-Reither, Hangeland, Baird, Riise-Duff, Diarra, Dembele, Ruiz-Rodallega, Petric.

Norwich City (4-4-2): Ruddy-R Bennett, Turner, Martin, Tierney-E Bennett, Johnson, Howson, Pilkington-Snodgrass-Holt.

Queens Park Rangers vs Swansea City - Loftus Road

Manager Mark Hughes will not name his captain until kick-off, although it is likely that former Manchester United midfielder Ji-Sung Park will wear the arm band. Joey Barton, who currently serves a 12-match ban is linked with a move to France Ligue 1 side Marseille.

The Welshman will miss the services of Alejandro Faurlin, striker Bobby Zamora, Samba Diakite and Armand Traore. But most of the summer recruits could feature in Saturday's clash.

Swansea boss Michael Laudrup has to decide whether or not to include winger Scott Sinclair who has refused to sign a new contract while new signing from Arsenal Kyle Bartley could feature. Other signings Michu, Chico Flores, Jonathan de Guzman and Israeli Itay Shechter are likely to start.

Trivia: The Wales side have never won at Loftus Road in 16 Premier League games, losing 8 and drawing 8.

Probabale Lineups:

QPR (5-3-2): Green-Fabio, Nelsen, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Dyer-Mackie, Derry, Park-Cissé, Hoilett.

Swansea City (4-5-1): Vorm-Rangel, Chico, Williams, Taylor-Dyer, Britton, Michu, De Guzman, Sinclair-Schechter.

West Brom Albion vs Liverpool - The Hawthorns

Former assistants of Jose Mourinho at Chelsea will face each other to prove a point in their own regime. Steve Clark will face former club Liverpool while Brendan Rodgers has a point to prove after being replacing Kop legend Kenny Dalglish.

West Brom suffered latest injury scare to James Morrison and Swede centre-half Jonas Olsson after playing for their respective national side in recent friendlies.

Liverpool have more arsenal with Fabio Borini, Luis Suarez, skipper Steven Gerrard in good touch while Joe Allen and Lucas are set to start in midfield. Defender Daniel Agger is likely to start despite being linked with a move away from Anfield.

Trivia: The Reds have scored 18 goals in six League visits to the Hawthorns. Liverpool have hit the woodwork 33 times last season, a record in the entire Premier League era.

Probable Lineups:

West Brom (4-3-3): Foster-Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell-Yacob, Mulumbu, Morrison-Gera, Odemwingie, Long.

Liverpool (4-4-3): Reina-Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique-Lucas, Allen, Gerrard-Borini, Downing, Suarez.

Reading vs Stoke City - Madesjki Stadium

Reading's bid to survive in the top flight begins with a clash against Stoke City at home. Manager Brian McDermott will hope his side can cope up with the stronger Potteries.

Jason Roberts who serves a two-match ban and Jimmy Kebe will miss the clash for the Royals while Stoke hope to start with defender Robert Huth after he spent the last week in hospital with Viral meningitis.

Reading will think about including Jem Karacan after the midfielder was desperate to start despite suffering from a broken leg while Stoke winger Jermaine Pennant.

Trivia: The Potteries last won at the Madesjki Stadium 20 years ago back in 1992.

Probable Lineups:

Reading (4-4-2): Federici-Gunter, Gorkss, Pearce, Harte-Le Fondre, Guthrie, Leigertwood, McCleary-Robson-Kanu, Pogrebnyak.

Stoke City (4-4-2): Begovic-Wilkinson, Shawcross, Upson, Wilson-Kightly, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington-Walters, Crouch.

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