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Premier League previews – matchweek 27

A look ahead to the latest round of games in the top flight.

Premier League leaders Manchester City welcome Leicester to the Etihad Stadium, while on Sunday Manchester United go to Newcastle and Liverpool travel to Southampton.

Saturday February 10

Man City (1) v Leicester (8)

Man City team news: John Stones is available again following illness and then a minor knee problem. Midfielder Phil Foden (ankle) is also fit but playmaker David Silva (hip), winger Leroy Sane (ankle), striker Gabriel Jesus and left-backs Benjamin Mendy and Fabian Delph (all knee) are still out.

Leicester team news: Riyad Mahrez will miss a third successive match although on Friday he returned to training for the first time since a January move to City collapsed. Shinji Okazaki drops out with a knee injury that could sideline him for up to two weeks.

Pep Guardiola: “I wish (Mahrez) comes back soon to play football because we enjoy watching him play. Hopefully as soon as possible he comes back with Leicester and plays at his level.”

Claude Puel: “The most important thing for me is to keep Riyad and the club and the fans united and in a good way about this. It is important to keep a good feeling together through these difficulties.”

Last season: Man City 2 Leicester 1, Leicester 4 Man City 2
Last five league matches: Man City W L W W D; Leicester W D W L D
Top scorers: Sergio Aguero (Man City) 24; Jamie Vardy (Leicester) 13
Match odds: H 2-9 A 11-1 D 5-1
Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

Sunday February 11

Huddersfield (19) v AFC Bournemouth (9)

Huddersfield team news: Central defender Christopher Schindler and striker Laurent Depoitre face late fitness tests on their ankle injuries. Full-back Tommy Smith (concussion) misses out, but Alex Pritchard returns to contention and fellow midfielder Danny Williams has recovered from a dead leg.

Bournemouth team news: Defensive duo Adam Smith and Steve Cook are back in contention following respective thigh and hamstring complaints. Forward Jermain Defoe remains absent having fractured his right ankle.

David Wagner: “We are totally aware this is a massive game for us. The whole town has to stand up and fight for Premier League survival. This is the environment we have to create.”

Eddie Howe: “My job is to pick what I believe is the best team to win the next game and that’s what I do. (Harry Arter’s) job is to try and get in that team – that is how it should work.”

Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Huddersfield L L L L L; AFC Bournemouth D W D W W
Top scorers: Steve Mounie (Huddersfield) 6; Callum Wilson (AFC Bournemouth) 8
Match odds: H 9-4 A 13-10 D 21-10
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Huddersfield Town v Bournemouth Banner

Newcastle (16) v Man Utd (2)

Newcastle team news: Rafael Benitez will make a late decision on striker Islam Slimani, who remains a doubt with a thigh injury. Defender Ciaran Clark (knee) and midfielder Mohamed Diame (knock) are fit, but full-back Jesus Gamez (ankle) is not yet ready to return.

Man Utd team news: Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned to first-team training two days ago after knee injury but will not feature. Eric Bailly (ankle), Daley Blind (ankle ligaments) and Marouane Fellaini (knee) are also sidelined.

Rafael Benitez: “We’re not a defensive team, we are a team that has to defend. We have to stay calm and keep working in the same way and hopefully with the new additions, we will be a bit stronger and the competition stronger for the rest of the season.”

Jose Mourinho: “With Luke (Shaw) it is not about changing my mind. He’s now for a few months free of these minor injuries that sometimes stop evolution and I’m really happy, so I think the natural consequence of it is that he will have his contract and he will be a Manchester United player for years.”

Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Newcastle W D L D D; Man Utd W W W L W
Top scorers: Islam Slimani (Newcastle) 5; Romelu Lukaku (Man Utd) 19
Match odds: H 9-2 A 8-13 D 14-5
Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)

Southampton (15) v Liverpool (3)

Southampton team news: Mauricio Pellegrino reported no fresh injury problems although Manolo Gabbiadini may be a doubt with a hip problem. Charlie Austin continues to be sidelined by a hamstring issue.

Liverpool team news: Virgil van Dijk is expected to start on his first return to Southampton since his £75million January move. Fellow defender Joe Gomez is unlikely to feature because of a minor knee problem while midfielder Adam Lallana returns after a thigh problem.

Mauricio Pellegrino: “We have to be grateful with him, and now we have to think Virgil is part of the past. But he did well in our club and he left some profit to the club. Now, we have to be focused in our game, in what we have to do.”

Jurgen Klopp: “It will not be the most friendly (atmosphere for Van Dijk) but I’m not sure.  I think how football fans are, they want to disturb everything we try to do to help their team and they will whistle. We have to accept it how it is: loud, not nice maybe, but still we have to play football.”

Last season: Liverpool 0 Southampton 0, Southampton 0 Liverpool 0
Last five league matches: Southampton L D D D W; Liverpool W W L W D
Top scorers: Charlie Austin (Southampton) 6; Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) 28
Match odds: H 10-3 A 3-4 D 14-5
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

Monday February 12

Chelsea (4) v West Brom (20)

Chelsea team news: Tiemoue Bakayoko is suspended following his sending off at Watford. Olivier Giroud could make his first start since moving from Arsenal, but centre-back Andreas Christensen (hamstring) faces a late fitness test.

West Brom team news: Jay Rodriguez is available despite being charged by the Football Association with alleged racial abuse of Brighton defender Gaetan Bong – something he denies. Jonny Evans (back), Kieran Gibbs (hamstring) and Grzegorz Krychowiak (leg) are also set to feature.

Antonio Conte: “I’m not thinking for only one moment about the possibility of going away from this club. I repeat, my commitment is totally for this club, like that of my players. We have to try to stop this bad run and to try to get three points against West Brom.”

Alan Pardew: “I’ve got no problem picking (Rodriguez). At the moment he’s angry but he’s OK. Jay is upset about it, he has a good mental capacity to deal with things and hopefully he can concentrate on his football and not worry too much – although it is a worry.”

Last season: West Brom 0 Chelsea 1, Chelsea 1 West Brom 0
Last five league matches: Chelsea D D W L L; West Brom L W D L L
Top scorers: Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 13; Jay Rodriguez (West Brom) 8
Match odds: H 1-3 A 8-1 D 4-1
Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)

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