Following a busy mid-week fixture schedule, the Premier League returns this weekend with a couple of top games on the list.
Manchester City face Chelsea in an all-important top of the table clash on Monday night whilst on Saturday lunchtime it’s the Tyne-Wear derby as Newcastle host Sunderland.
Newcastle United v Sunderland Betting
This is one of the fiercest local derbies in the world as the two North East rivals, Newcastle and Sunderland lock horns on Saturday lunchtime.
Newcastle are on the hunt for their first derby win in three meetings, after being defeated on the last two occasions, as they look to pull themselves back into the race for Europe.
The Magpies have picked up just one win in their last five league games and they’ll be without key striker Loic Remy who starts his three match ban. Fellow forward Papiss Cisse is an injury doubt whilst recent loan acquisition Luuk de Jong is available but is lacking match fitness.
Sunderland won the last meeting between the sides 2-1 back in October and currently teeter just above the drop zone following a promising run in the league, with just one defeat in eight.
New signings Ignacio Scocco and Liam Bridcutt are unlikely to feature and Stephen Fletcher faces an Achilles problem but Phil Bardsley should be fit.
BET OF THE DAY – Adam Johnson has been in a free-scoring mood for Sunderland recently with five goals in the last three games and is good value at any time goalscorer with Bet 365 at 15/4.
This match kicks-off at 12:45pm but unfortunately won’t televised in the UK on police request, due to problems in pubs and bars incurring fan disorder on previous derby-day occasions.
Arsenal v Crystal Palace Betting
Arsenal lost their top-of-the-table perch in midweek after only managing a draw at Southampton and need a win on Sunday to keep the pressure on the fellow front-runners ahead of their Monday night meeting.
Mathieu Flamini was sent off in Tuesday 2-2 draw because of a dangerous two-footed lunge and starts his three-game suspension. Tomas Rosicky is available following surgery on his broken nose but Aaron Ramsey and Aaron Ramsey remains sidelined.
Palace have been quietly going about their business in the league with back-to-back six-pointer wins pulling themselves up to 14th place.
They haven’t been so quiet on transfer deadline day with manager Tony Pulis completing no less than five signings. New arrivals Wayne Hennessey, Thomas Ince, Joe Ledley and Scott Dann could all go straight into the team to face the Gunners.
The match is live from 4pm on Sky Sports 1, immediately after West Brom v Liverpool.
Manchester City v Chelsea Betting
Then it’s the big one on Monday evening as table-toppers Manchester City take on third placed Chelsea in a game which could dictate who goes onto claim the title.
City were asked a question against Champions League contenders Tottenham on Wednesday and duly answered it thanks to a 5-1 drubbing, which saw them leap-frog Arsenal to the top of the table.
But Manuel Pellegrini will be without top scorer Sergio Aguero on Monday who is ruled out for the next month with a hamstring injury picked up at White Hart Lane. Javi Garcia and Samir Nasri remain injured but James Milner could be available following a groin injury.
Chelsea stumbled in midweek as West Ham frustrated them into a 0-0 draw and Jose Mourinho will be desperate not to lose this key fixture; a defeat would mean they would be six points adrift of the top.
His only injury worry is Fernando Torres who is still a week away from returning following a knee injury.
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