Topic: Premier League picks and previews 2012-13

In this topic we will write our picks for the games in the Premier League this season. I will also post some team news now and then and some other types of information.


Team home pages:

Arsenal - www.arsenal.com
Aston Villa - www.avfc.premiumtv.co.uk
Chelsea - www.chelseafc.com
Everton - www.evertonfc.com
Fulham - www.fulhamfc.com
Liverpool - www.liverpoolfc.tv
Manchester City - www.mcfc.co.uk
Manchester United - www.manutd.com
Newcastle United - www.nufc.premiumtv.co.uk
Norwich City - www.canaries.co.uk
Queens Park Rangers - www.qpr.co.uk
Reading - www.readingfc.co.uk
Southampton - www.saintsfc.co.uk
Stoke City - www.stokecityfc.com
Sunderland - www.safc.com
Swansea City - www.swanseacity.net
Tottenham - www.spurs.co.uk
West Bromwich - www.wbafc.co.uk
West Ham - www.whufc.com
Wigan Athletic - www.wiganlatics.co.uk


Hopefully you guys will join the discussions smile

Re: Premier League picks and previews 2012-13

Premier League preview: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham

Arsenal have had a better pre-season than last time around but then that is hardly saying much.

Particularly when Robin van Persie is angling for a move, having just finished the top scorer for Arsene Wenger's team last season.

Yet van Persie or no van Persie, Arsenal can look forward to this season with more optimism than last time around with good reason.

Read more: http://www.ontheminute.com/features/features.php?id=472

Re: Premier League picks and previews 2012-13

From the BBC:


Arsenal

2011-2012 season

Premier League: 3rd

FA Cup: Fifth round

Carling Cup: Quarter-finals

Champions League: Last 16

Players in: Santi Cazorla (Malaga) £15m*, Olivier Giroud (Montpellier) £12m*, Lukas Podolski (Cologne) £11m*.

Players out: Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad) Undisclosed, Manuel Almunia (Watford) Free, Tom Cruise (Torquay) Free, Gavin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge) Free, Jeffrey Monakana (Preston) Free, Rhys Murphy (Telstar) Free, Benik Afobe (Bolton) Loan, Joel Campbell  (Real Betis) Loan, Denilson (Sao Paulo) Loan, Ryo Miyaichi (Wigan) Loan, Pedro Botelho  (Atletico Paranaense) Undisclosed.

* Reported cost of player. Officially undisclosed fee.

Summer so far:

    Midfielder Jack Wilshere undergoes minor knee surgery after missing the entire 2011-12 season with an ankle injury. He is later ruled out until October.
    Assistant manager Pat Rice retires after 48 years with the club and is replaced by Steve Bould.
    Captain Robin van Persie announces that he will not sign a new deal and the Gunners reject offers from Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus.
    The club's second largest shareholder Alisher Usmanov criticises the running of the club following the Van Persie announcement.
    Midfielder Mikel Arteta opens talks on a new deal and defender Laurent Koscielny signs a new long-term contract.
    Midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong is fined £6,000 by the Football Association following a Twitter post directed towards a Spurs fan.

Key fixtures:

    A three-game spell in January could show whether Arsenal can challenge for the title. They face Manchester City at home, Chelsea away and Liverpool at home in consecutive games.
    North London derbies against Tottenham are on Saturday, 17 November (h) and Sunday, 3 March (a).


--


Aston Villa

2011-2012 season

Premier League: 16th

FA Cup: Fourth round

Carling Cup: Third round

Players in: Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord) £3.2m*, Matthew Lowton (Sheffield United) £3m*, Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord) £2.5m*, Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar) Free.

Players out: James Collins (West Ham) £2.5m, Emile Heskey (released), Reece Caira  (Western Sydney Wanderers) Free, Carlos Cuellar (Sunderland) Free, Connor Taylor (Walsall) Free.

Summer so far:

    Villa sack manager Alex McLeish after narrowly avoiding relegation and, after holding talks with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, they go on to appoint Norwich boss Paul Lambert.
    Lambert announces that Stiliyan Petrov will remain club captain despite his absence from the team with acute leukaemia. The midfielder later reveals that his recovery is going well and "the hardest bit is over" and it is confirmed in August that he is in remission.
    Brad Guzan leaves the club at the end of his contract, along with striker Emile Heskey, but is re-signed on a three-year deal following Lambert's appointment.

Key fixtures:

    Paul Lambert's managerial skills might be tested to the maximum as they play Manchester United (h), Manchester City (a) and Arsenal (h) in the space of 14 days in November.
    The Scot's first game against his former club Norwich will be on 28 October, with his return to Carrow Road on 4 May.


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Chelsea

2011-2012 season

Premier League: 6th

FA Cup: Winners

Carling Cup: Quarter-final

Champions League: Winners

Players in: Eden Hazard (Lille) £32m*, Oscar (Internacional) £25m*, Marko Marin (Werder Bremen) £6.5m*, Thorgan Hazard (Lens) Undisclosed.

Players out: Didier Drogba (Shanghai Shenhua) Free, Salomon Kalou (Lille) Free, Jacob Mellis (Barnsley) Free, Marko Mitrovic   (Brescia) Free, Jeffrey Bruma  (Hamburg) Loan, Thibaut Courtois  (Atletico Madrid) Loan, Ulises Davila  (Sabadell) Loan, Kevin de Bruyne (Werder Bremen) Loan, Matej Delac  (Guimaraes) Loan, Ben Gordon (Birmingham) Loan, Rohan Ince (Yeovil) Loan, Tomas Kalas  (Vitesse Arnhem) Loan, Milan Lakovic  (Guimaraes) Loan, Romelu Lukaku (West Brom) Loan, Patrick van Aanholt  (Vitesse Arnhem) Loan, Sam Walker (Bristol Rovers) Loan, Jose Bosingwa (Released).

Summer so far:

    Roberto Di Matteo is named as the permanent Blues manager after winning the Champions League and says he is not worried about the "shadow" of Pep Guardiola.
    Captain John Terry is cleared of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand in court, but is later charged by the Football Association.
    Chelsea fail in three bids for Wigan forward Victor Moses and are told the Latics want £10m for the 21-year-old.
    Striker Daniel Sturridge is treated for viral meningitis but recovers in time to play in the Olympics for Great Britain.

Key fixtures:

    Chelsea will hope to pick up most of the points on offer in their first five games - Wigan (a), Reading (h), Newcastle (h), QPR (a) and Stoke (h).
    Former boss Andre Villas-Boas says he is not out for revenge when his new side Tottenham host Chelsea on 20 October and then visit Stamford Bridge on 13 April, but he will feel he has a point to prove.


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Everton

2011-2012 season

Premier League: 7th

FA Cup: Semi-finals

Carling Cup: Fourth round

Players in: Steven Pienaar (Tottenham) £4.5m, Steven Naismith (Rangers) Free.

Players out: Jack Rodwell (Man City) £12m, Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls) £1m*, Joseph Yobo (Fenerbahce) £2m*, Joao Silva  (Levski Sofia) Undisclosed, Aristote Nsiala  (Accrington) Free, Adam Forshaw (Brentford) Free, Connor Roberts (Cheltenham) Free, James Wallace (Tranmere) Free*, Marcus Hahnemann (Released), James McFadden (Released).

Summer so far:

    Former Everton goalkeeper Gordon West dies at the age of 69. He won two titles and an FA Cup and made over 400 appearances during 11 years at Goodison Park.
    Manager David Moyes is strongly linked to Tottenham before the Londoners appoint Andre-Villas Boas.
    The Toffees hold a testimonial for long-serving right-back Tony Hibbert. The 31-year-old, who has never scored in 308 competitive games, nets a free-kick in a 4-1 win over AEK Athens.

Key fixtures:

    David Moyes will hope his side do not go into May in desperate need of points as they face trips to Liverpool and Chelsea, as well as hosting West Ham.
    Their home game against city rivals Liverpool will be on 27 October.


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Fulham

2011-2012 season

Premier League: 9th

FA Cup: Fourth round

Carling Cup: Third round

Europa League: Group stages

Players in: George Williams (MK Dons) Undisclosed, Mladen Petric (Hamburg) Free, Hugo Rodallega (Wigan) Free, Sascha Riether (Cologne) Loan.

Players out: Marcel Gecov  (Gent) Undisclosed, Richard Barroilhet  (RKC Waalwijk) Free, Dickson Etuhu (Blackburn) Free, Andrew Johnson (QPR) Free, Danny Murphy (Blackburn) Free, Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) Free, Bjorn Helge Riise  (Lillestrom) Free, Orlando Sa  (AEL Limassol) Free.

Summer so far:

    Fulham fail with two bids for Cardiff City's Peter Whittingham after midfielder Danny Murphy joins Blackburn.
    The Cottagers also lose out on Pavel Pogrebnyak to Reading. The 28-year-old Russian scored six goals in 12 starts for Fulham during a spell at the end of last season.
    Liverpool chase forward Clint Dempsey, with a post appearing on the website of Liverpool's owners suggesting the Reds had signed the American. He is left out of their training camp in Switzerland, with the club citing his lack of match fitness.
    The Cottagers have plans approved to increase the capacity of Craven Cottage to 30,000.

Key fixtures:

    Consecutive games against Chelsea (a), Tottenham (h) and Newcastle (h) at the end of November and start of December could prove difficult for Martin Jol's side.

Re: Premier League picks and previews 2012-13

Premier League preview: Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle, Norwich

Brendan Rodgers has an interesting challenge ahead of him at Liverpool.

He takes over from Kenny Dalglish, who won a cup but finished eighth in the league last season. Another eighth place finish would be disastrous.

Rodgers' Swansea team played some of the best football in the league last season and Liverpool hope he can bring that to Anfield this time around.

Read more: http://www.ontheminute.com/features/features.php?id=473

Re: Premier League picks and previews 2012-13

From the BBC:


Liverpool

2011-2012 season

Premier League: 8th

FA Cup: Runners-up

Carling Cup: Winners

Players in: Joe Allen (Swansea) £15m*, Fabio Borini (Roma) £11m*.

Players out: Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina) £5.5m*, Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahce) £1m*, David Amoo (Preston) Free, Fabio Aurelio  (Gremio) Free, Craig Bellamy (Cardiff) Free, Stephen Darby (Bradford) Free, Joe Rafferty (Rochdale) Free, Maxi Rodriguez (Newell's Old Boys) Free*, Henoc Mukendi (Northampton) Loan, Toni Silva (Barnsley) Free.

Summer so far:

    Liverpool sack Kenny Dalglish after a disappointing season and, after interviewing Wigan boss Roberto Martinez, eventually appoint Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers.
    Rodgers wants to be reunited with former Swansea loanee Gylfi Sigurdsson but the Icelandic joins Tottenham instead.
    Juventus are interested in Liverpool striker Luis Suarez but the Uruguay international signs a new long-term deal with the Reds.
    Liverpool chase forward Clint Dempsey, with a post appearing on the website of Liverpool's owners suggesting the Reds had signed the American. It was later removed and the Reds confirmed they had not signed Dempsey.
    Striker Andy Carroll, who cost Liverpool £35m 18 months ago, is wanted by West Ham and his former club Newcastle. However, he turns down a £2m loan move to the Hammers.

Key fixtures:

    Three of the first five games are against fellow European contenders Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United, although all three matches are at Anfield. Conversely, this means they face three tough away trips in as many weeks in the new year.
    New manager Brendan Rodgers returns to his former club Swansea on 24 November, with the home game on 23 February.


--


Manchester City

2011-2012 season

Premier League: 1st

FA Cup: Third round

Carling Cup: Semi-finals

Europa League: Last 16

Players in: Jack Rodwell (Everton) £12m.

Players out: Greg Cunningham (Bristol City) Undisclosed, Gai Assulin   (Racing Santander) Free, Ahmad Benali  (Brescia) Free, Andrea Mancini  (Real Valladolid) Free, Wayne Bridge (Brighton) Loan, Omar Elabdellaoui (Feyenoord) Loan, Owen Hargreaves (Released).

Summer so far:

    City release former England midfielder Owen Hargreaves after he featured in only 13 minutes of Premier League action.
    Sergio Aguero, who scored the goal to win the title for City, says he plans to stay at the club for at least four more years after being linked to Real Madrid.
    Manager Roberto Mancini is strongly linked with the vacant Russia job but signs a new five-year contract with the Premier League champions.
    The Etihad Stadium side fail in a bid for Arsenal captain Robin van Persie, who is out of contract at the end of the season and will not sign a new deal.
    Captain Vincent Kompany signs a new six-year deal, tying him to the club until he is 32.

Key fixtures:

    Games against Manchester United are always City's most anticipated fixtures, even more so now the pair are title rivals. They host the Red Devils on 8 December and visit Old Trafford on 6 April.
    If City are topping the table after their game with Tottenham (a) on 20 April, they will fancy their chances of winning the title as they end the season against West Ham (h), Swansea (a), Reading (a) and Norwich (h).


--


Manchester United

2011-2012 season

Premier League: 2nd

FA Cup: Fourth round

Carling Cup: Quarter-finals

Champions League: Group stages

Europa League: Last 16

Players in: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund) £12m*, Nick Powell (Crewe) £3m*.

Players out: Park Ji-sung (QPR) £2m, Ritchie De Laet and Matthew James (Leicester) £2m*, Tomasz Kuszczak (Brighton) Free, Oliver Norwood (Huddersfield) Free, Paul Pogba (Juventus) Free, Ben Amos (Hull) Loan, Reece Brown (Coventry) Loan, John Cofie (Sheffield United) Loan, Fabio Da Silva (QPR) Loan, Sean McGinty (Oxford) Loan, Michael Owen (Released).

Summer so far:

    Sir Alex Ferguson reveals Manchester United's interest in Brazil international Lucas Moura. However, the 19-year-old Sao Paulo winger eventually joins Paris Saint-Germain.
    Defender Chris Smalling adds to their injury problems, when he is ruled out for 10 weeks with a broken metatarsal.
    Ferguson says he will keep a more consistent team in Europe this season after admitting last year's frequent changes "backfired" as they went out in the Champions League group stages.
    Ferguson says midfielder Darren Fletcher will be given another role at the club if he cannot make a comeback from a chronic bowel complaint.
    United fans are not happy with plans to sell shares in the United States, with some of the money due to go to the Glazer family, the club's owners.

Key fixtures:

    Games against Manchester City have taken on extra importance now the pair are title rivals. They visit the Etihad Stadium on 8 December and host City on 6 April.
    A trip to Arsenal and a home clash with Chelsea in the last four games could decide their title bid.


--



Newcastle United

2011-2012 season

Premier League: 5th

FA Cup: Fourth round

Carling Cup: Fourth round

Players in: Gael Bigirimana (Coventry) £1m*, Curtis Good (Melbourne Heart) £400,000*, Romain Amalfitano (Stade de Reims) Free.

Players out: Leon Best (Blackburn) £3m, Fraser Forster (Celtic) £2m*, Danny Guthrie (Reading) Free, Michael Hoganson (Derby) Free, Tamas Kadar   (Roda JC) Free, Peter Lovenkrands (Birmingham) Free, Alan Smith (MK Dons) Free, Daniel Taylor (Oldham) Free.

Summer so far:

    Newcastle bid to sign former striker Andy Carroll back from Liverpool. However, a deal never materialised.
    Striker Demba Ba is continually linked with a move away from St James' Park, with Galatasaray linked to the Senegal forward. However, he remains at the club after a £7.5m release clause in his contract expires.
    Scout Graham Carr, who helped the Magpies recruit many of their key French and African players, signs a new eight-year deal.
    Newcastle United have an improved bid to sign Lille full-back Mathieu Debuchy rejected.
    Chairman Mike Ashley bids to buy a share in Rangers and could loan up to nine players to the Scottish Third Division side.

Key fixtures:

    Newcastle face a difficult Christmas period, with a trip to Manchester United on 26 December and Arsenal two days later.
    Derbies against Sunderland are on 21 October, at the Stadium of Light, and 13 April at St James' Park.


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Norwich City

2011-2012 season

Premier League: 12th

FA Cup: Fifth round

Carling Cup: Second round

Players in: Robert Snodgrass (Leeds) £3m*, Michael Turner (Sunderland) £1.5m, Jacob Butterfield (Barnsley) Over £1m*, Steven Whittaker (Rangers) Free.

Players out: Andrew Crofts (Brighton) Undisclosed, Matt Ball   (Stevenage) Free, Josh Dawkin (Braintree) Free, Adam Drury (Leeds) Free, Zak Whitbread (Leicester) Free, Aaron Wilbraham (Crystal Palace) Free, Daniel Ayala (Nottingham Forest) Loan.

Summer so far:

    Norwich lose manager Paul Lambert to Aston Villa and go on to appoint Chris Hughton from Villa's City rivals Birmingham. Hughton is given the club's largest ever transfer budget.
    Striker Grant Holt puts in a transfer request after a dispute over a new deal but he eventually signs a new three-year contract.
    Summer signing Steven Whittaker is ruled out of the start of the Premier League season because of an ankle injury.

Key fixtures:

    Norwich will visit Paul Lambert's Aston Villa on 28 October, with his return to Carrow Road on 4 May.
    A spell of three home games in four near the end of the season could be crucial in their survival bid, although they end away to Manchester City.

Re: Premier League picks and previews 2012-13

- Breaking News -

Man Utd sign Arsenal star Van Persie

Manchester United have confirmed they have reached an agreement with Arsenal for Robin van Persie.

Read more: http://www.ontheminute.com/news/news.php?news=39778

Re: Premier League picks and previews 2012-13

Premier League preview: Queen´s Park Rangers, Reading, Southampton, Stoke, Sunderland

Queen´s Park Rangers survived by the skin of their teeth last time around as they came close to relegation back into the Championship.

In the end they were indebted to Stoke for drawing with Bolton on the final day, and a questionable penalty given to the home team in that match.

Read more: http://www.ontheminute.com/features/features.php?id=474

Re: Premier League picks and previews 2012-13

Queens Park Rangers

2011-2012 season

Premier League: 17th

FA Cup: Fourth round

Carling Cup: Second round

Players in: Samba Diakite (Nancy) £3.5m*, Park Ji-sung (Manchester United) £2m, Junior Hoilett (Blackburn) Fee yet to be decided, Robert Green (West Ham) Free, Andrew Johnson (Fulham) Free, Ryan Nelsen (Tottenham) Free, Fabio Da Silva (Manchester United) Loan.

Players out: Paddy Kenny (Leeds) Undisclosed Fitz Hall (Watford) Free, Heidar Helguson (Cardiff) Free, Paddy Kenny (Leeds) Free, Peter Ramage (Crystal Palace) Free, Danny Shittu (Millwall) Free, Rowan Vine (St Johnstone) Free, Akos Buzsaky (released), Danny Gabbidon (released), Gary Borrowdale (released), Lee Cook (released), Bruno Perone (released).

Summer so far:

    Midfielder Joey Barton is banned for 12 games by the Football Association, fined six weeks' wages by the club and stripped of the captaincy after his clashes during their final-day defeat by Manchester City. A move to Fleetwood falls through as QPR decide not to loan him to a League Two side.
    QPR midfielder Adel Taarabt signs a new three-year contract, while Kieron Dyer also earns a new contract despite only playing once because of injury in his first season at Loftus Road.
    Former England midfielder Owen Hargreaves trains with the Loftus Road side after his exit from Manchester City.

Key fixtures:

    A tough end of the season, Arsenal (h), Newcastle (h) and Liverpool (a), means that QPR will hope to have their season sewn up by then.
    Barton will be back from his 12-game ban for his fracas against Manchester City by the time they host the champions on 29 January.


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Reading

2011-2012 season

Championship: 1st

FA Cup: Third round

Carling Cup: First round

Players in: Chris Gunter (Nottingham Forest) £2.3m*, Adrian Mariappa (Watford) £1m*, Pierce Sweeney  (Bray) Undisclosed, Danny Guthrie (Newcastle) Free, Garath McCleary (Nottingham Forest) Free, Nicky Shorey (West Brom) Free, Pavel Pogrebnyak (Fulham) Free.

Players out: Michail Antonio (Sheffield Wednesday) £700,000*, Mathieu Manset   (Sion) Undisclosed, Tomasz Cywka (Barnsley) Free, Michael Hector (Shrewsbury) Loan, Angus MacDonald (AFC Wimbledon) Loan, Joseph Mills (Burnley) Loan, Karl Sheppard (Accrington) Loan, Gozie Ugwu (Yeovil) Loan.

Summer so far:

    Reading's protracted takeover by Russian tycoon Anton Zingarevich is finally completed.
    Goalkeeper Adam Federici extends his deal with the Royals. The 27-year-old has been with the club for eight years after first arriving on non-contract terms.

Key fixtures:

    Reading's second game back in the Premier League is away to European champions Chelsea.
    Home games against Swansea and West Ham over Christmas (26 and 29 December) could boost their hopes of avoiding the drop.


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Southampton

2011-2012 season

Championship: 2nd

FA Cup: Fourth round

Carling Cup: Fourth round

Players in: Jay Rodriguez (Burnley) £7m*, Steven Davis (Rangers) £800,000*, Nathaniel Clyne (Crystal Palace) Undisclosed, Paulo Gazzaniga (Gillingham) Undisclosed.

Players out: Dan Harding (Nottingham Forest) Undisclosed, Bartosz Bialkowski (Notts County) Free, Harlee Dean (Brentford) Free, Ryan Doble (Shrewsbury) Free, Lee Holmes (Preston) Free, Tommy Forecast (Gillingham) Loan.

Summer so far:

    Southampton hand forward Guly do Prado a one-year contract extension after helping them to successive promotions from League One.
    Their bid to sign defender Alexander Buttner is hindered by a third party claiming they are owed a percentage of the transfer fee.
    Former Saints defender Claus Lundekvam claims there was a culture of spot-fixing at the club, but his old team-mate Francis Benali denies this.
    Midfielder Jack Cork will miss the start of the season after suffering an ankle injury in pre-season following his return from the Olympics.

Key fixtures:

    They face a tough start to life back in the Premier League - they open away to Manchester City and, after a home game with Wigan, they host Manchester United on 2 September.
    Southampton's end-of-season run-in is relatively straightforward, with their last seven games including matches with Reading (a), West Ham (h), Swansea (a), West Brom (h), Sunderland (a) and Stoke (h).


--


Stoke City

2011-2012 season

Premier League: 14th

FA Cup: Sixth round

Carling Cup: Fourth round

Europa League: Last 32

Players in: Michael Kightly (Wolves) Undisclosed, Jamie Ness (Rangers) Free.

Players out: Danny Collins (Nottingham Forest) £500,000*, Ryan Brunt (Leyton Orient) Free, Andrew Davies (Bradford) Free, Jonathan Woodgate (Middlesbrough) Free, Florent Cuvelier (Walsall) Loan, Matthew Lund (Bristol Rovers) Loan.

Summer so far:

    Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross could play for Wales, but international boss Chris Coleman wants to consult Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey first after Shawcross broke his leg in a tackle in 2010.
    Stoke City's Danny Higginbotham admits he is unsure whether his future lies at the Britannia Stadium after a loan spell at Nottingham Forest last season.
    Defender Robert Huth signs a new deal to commit himself to the Potters until 2016. However, he later undergoes tests in hospital for suspected meningitis.

Key fixtures:

    Stoke face a tough Christmas period, with games against Tottenham (a), Liverpool (h), Manchester City (a) and Chelsea (h) in the space of three weeks.
    City have a relatively straightforward run-in, facing QPR (a), Norwich (h), Sunderland (a), Tottenham (h) and Southampton (a) in their last five games.


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Sunderland

2011-2012 season

Premier League: 13th

FA Cup: Sixth round

Carling Cup: Second round

Players in: Carlos Cuellar (Aston Villa) Free.

Players out: Asamoah Gyan (Al-Ain) £4m*, Michael Liddle (Accrington) Undisclosed, George McCartney (West Ham) Undisclosed, Michael Turner (Norwich) Undisclosed, Marcos Angeleri  (Estudiantes) Free, Trevor Carson (Bury) Free, Jordan Cook (Charlton) Free.

Summer so far:

    Sunderland defender Titus Bramble is cleared of sexually assaulting two women.
    Goalkeeper Craig Gordon, who cost the Black Cats £9m five years ago, is released along with eight other players.
    Sunderland bid £12m for Wolves striker Steven Fletcher, who puts in a transfer request.

Key fixtures:

    Derbies against Newcastle are on 21 October, at the Stadium of Light, and 13 April at St James' Park.
    Sunderland face a tough festive period, with home games against Manchester City and Tottenham (26 and 29 December) followed by a trip to Liverpool on New Year's Day.

Re: Premier League picks and previews 2012-13

Monday, August 20, 2012

Everton v Manchester United
Goodison Park
Kick-off: 20.00 BST.
TV: Live Sky 1.

Everton (Possible, 4-4-1-1): Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Naismith, Fellaini, Gibson, Pienaar; Osman; Jelavic.
Out: None.

Manchester United (Possible, 4-4-1-1): De Gea; Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Kagawa; Rooney; Van Persie.
Out: Fletcher (colitis), Jones (back), Smalling (toe), Evans (ankle).

Referee: Andre Marriner. Matches (last season): 21, Red 5, Yellow 73.

Steven Nasmith is set to make his competitive debut for Everton against United on Monday.

United striker Wayne Rooney has scored five times in the last seven opening season games for the club.

Pick: Manchester United to win and Wayne Rooney to score.

Re: Premier League picks and previews 2012-13

Everton v Manchester United, match facts from the BBC:

Head-to-head

    The two clubs have met on 187 occasions, United winning 81 times to Everton's 64 victories.
    Everton have won just two of the past 10 Premier League matches at Goodison Park between the two teams.
    The highest-scoring match between the two clubs at Goodison Park came on Boxing Day in 1977, when United won 6-2.

Everton

    Seventh-place Everton had the third-best defence in the league in 2011-12, conceding just 1.05 goals on average per game.
    They lost eight of their first 14 Premier League matches last season.
    The Toffees were unbeaten in their final nine league matches of last season.
    David Moyes' team have not finished outside the top 10 since 2005-06, when they ended the season in 11th position.

Manchester United

    United earned more points (89) in the 2011-12 season than any other team in English top-flight history without being crowned champions.
    They had 51 shots fewer than Liverpool in the last season, but scored 41 more goals.
    The Red Devils won 13 away matches last season, compared to just five in 2010-2011.
    They scored the most headed goals (16) in the 2011-12 Premier League, and also won more penalties (11) than any other team.