Premier League briefing

  • Last Updated: March 8 2014, 15:15 GMT

Team news, statistics and our verdict for the weekend's action in the Barclays Premier League.

Spurs face Chelsea in the Saturday Night Football clash
Spurs face Chelsea in the Saturday Night Football clash

Saturday, March 8

West Brom v Manchester United (KO 1245)

West Brom look likely to be without key midfielders Chris Brunt and James Morrison after both returned with knocks from international duty for Northern Ireland and Scotland respectively. Nicolas Anelka will begin his five-match ban while right-back Billy Jones (torn hamstring) is out, but Stephane Sessegnon and Claudio Yacob are both back in contention.

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie is fit even though he fell ill on international duty this week. Striker Javier Hernandez is unavailable after he suffered a knee injury in Mexico's friendly against Nigeria, but forward Juan Mata returns after being cup-tied for United's Champions League defeat to Olympiacos. Centre-back Phil Jones (hip) could return but Jonny Evans (calf) and winger Nani (hamstring) are doubtful.

Last season: West Brom 5 Man Utd 5, Man Utd 2 West Brom 0

Last five league matches: West Brom L D L D D; Man Utd W L D D W

Top scorers: Saido Berahino (West Brom) 8; Robin van Persie (Man Utd) 14

Referee: Jon Moss (West Yorkshire)

Our verdict: West Brom 1 Manchester United 3

Cardiff v Fulham (KO 1500)

Cardiff midfielder Jordon Mutch is expected to start, having played as a substitute in last weekend's 1-0 Premier League defeat at Tottenham following hamstring trouble. The 22-year-old scored the winner to hand the Bluebirds a 2-1 win at Fulham earlier this season.

Striker Kostas Mitroglou could feature for Fulham despite concerns over his hamstrings and match fitness. Midfielder Scott Parker is out after suffering a knee injury in training which is not too serious, but winger Damien Duff (knee) has likely played his last game of the season, and possibly his last ever game for the Cottagers as he is out of contract this summer. Defender Fernando Amorebieta is still out, while William Kvist is likely to be absent with hamstring problems, despite playing 90 minutes for Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday night.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Cardiff W L D L L; Fulham L D L D L

Top scorers (all competitions): Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff) 8; Steven Sidwell (Fulham) 7

Referee: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire)

Our verdict: Cardiff 1 Fulham 2

Crystal Palace v Southampton (KO 1500)

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis could be without Marouane Chamakh after the striker injured a hamstring in last weekend's 1-1 draw at Swansea. Kagisho Dikgacoi did not travel for international duty with South Africa but Pulis is hopeful he can play some part against Saints.

Southampton will assess their international players, with a total of 18 away during the week. Dejan Lovren and Gaston Ramirez were two of those on duty for their countries and will be looking to kick on after playing substantial parts against Liverpool last weekend - their first game back since respective ankle ligament issues.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Crystal Palace W L W L D; Southampton W D W L L

Top scorers (all competitions): Marouane Chamakh (Crystal Palace) 6; Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) 12

Referee: Howard Webb (South Yorkshire)

Our verdict: Crystal Palace 1 Southampton 0

Norwich v Stoke (KO 1500)

Norwich hope to have striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel (knee) and winger Robert Snodgrass (wrist) available. Fit-again midfielder Jonny Howson is pressing for a start after coming off the bench late on in the 4-1 defeat at Aston Villa. Defenders Joseph Yobo (muscle strain) and Martin Olsson (shoulder) are also in the squad despite missing out on international friendlies for Nigeria and Sweden respectively with minor knocks. On-loan winger Jonas Gutierrez (calf) and centre-back Michael Turner (hamstring) should start full training next week, but midfielder Leroy Fer (hamstring) and winger Elliott Bennett (knee) are still not close to a return.

Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam begins a three-match suspension for stamping on Olivier Giroud in last weekend's win over Arsenal. Forward Peter Odemwingie, who missed last week's match with a calf problem, could return to the squad. Marko Arnautovic is a doubt after returning from international duty with Austria with a hamstring problem while defender Geoff Cameron did not train on Friday after playing 90 minutes for the United States.

Last season: Stoke 1 Norwich 0, Norwich 1 Stoke 0

Last five league matches: Norwich L D L W L; Stoke W D D L W

Top scorers (all competitions): Gary Hooper (Norwich) 7; Peter Crouch & Charlie Adam (Stoke) 8

Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)

Our verdict: Norwich 1 Stoke 0

Chelsea v Tottenham (KO 1730)

Ashley Cole is out for Chelsea with a minor knee injury. The 33-year-old left-back, who has been second choice at Chelsea to Cesar Azpilicueta in recent weeks, suffered a lateral ligament injury in training on Thursday which will keep him out for eight to 10 days. Chelsea have a number of undisclosed concerns following the midweek internationals, with defender David Luiz thought to be among them after exacerbating a groin injury while on Brazil duty, but Eden Hazard is fit to feature despite fears of an ankle knock suffered playing for Belgium.

Kyle Walker, Younes Kaboul and Zeki Fryers could all feature for Tottenham, which will come too soon for Christian Eriksen due to a back muscle problem. Erik Lamela and Vlad Chiriches remain sidelined with back complaints, while Etienne Capoue and Danny Rose are also out of the trip to west London.

Last season: Chelsea 2 Tottenham 2, Tottenham 2 Chelsea 4

Last five league matches: Chelsea W W D W W; Tottenham D W W L W

Top scorers (all competitions): Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 14; Emmanuel Adebayor & Roberto Soldado (Tottenham) 11

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Our verdict: Chelsea 2 Tottenham 1


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