Michael Regan

Premier League, Week 20: Chelsea, Liverpool both get victories

Chelsea won thanks to a brace from Frank Lampard, although the Toffees will feel very hard done by after an excellent performance, while Liverpool hammered QPR 3-0 behind a brace from Luis Suarez.

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23 Total Updates since December 28, 2012
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Can we just relegate QPR now?

Liverpool scored three times in the first half and coasted to an easy victory over the appallingly bad QPR

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Queens Park Rangers vs. Liverpool: Lineups

Harry Redknapp continues to leave his more technical players on the bench as he names an uncompromising lineup to take on Liverpool at Loftus Road.

Esteban Granero, Alejandro Faurlin, Fabio da Silva and Junior Hoilett are all on the bench for QPR, with more robust players like Jamie Mackie, Samba Diakite and Nedum Onuoha instead lining up for the Rs. Adel Taarabt does start however, just behind Djibril Cisse.

Liverpool meanwhile opt for Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson as their double pivot in midfield, while Stewart Downing starts with Raheem Sterling on the wings. Steven Gerrard plays just behind Luis Suarez.

Queens Park Rangers (4-4-1-1): Julio Cesar; Nedum Onuoha, Ryan Nelsen, Clint Hill, Armand Traore; Jamie Mackie, Samba Diakite, Stephane Mbia, Shaun Wright-Phillips; Adel Taarabt; Djibril Cisse.

Liverpool (4-2-3-1): Pepe Reina; Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Jose Enrique; Joe Allen, Jordan Henderson; Stewart Downing, Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling; Luis Suarez.

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Lampard double ends Everton's unbeaten home record

Everton took the lead thanks to a Steven Pienaar goal in the first minute, but Chelsea hit back with a Frank Lampard brace to secure the points and end the Toffees' unbeaten home record.

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Everton vs. Chelsea: Lineups

Rafael Benitez has again deployed David Luiz in midfield for Chelsea as they take on Everton at Goodison Park.

The Brazilian defender makes up Chelsea's double pivot with Frank Lammpard, with Ramires deployed as part of an attacking three along with Juan Mata and Eden Hazard. There is still no place in the starting lineup for Oscar or John Obi Mikel, the latter of whom is out with a minor knee injury.

Everton meanwhile opt for a flat 4-4-2 with Steven Pienaar and Thomas Hitzlsperger the partnership in central midfield. Steven Naismith and Leon Osman will operate on the wings, while Nikica Jelavic joins Victor Anichebe up front.

Everton (4-4-2): Tim Howard; Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distin, John Heitinga; Steven Naismith, Steven Pienaar, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Leon Osman; Nikica Jelavic, Victor Anichebe.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Petr Cech; Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic, Ashley Cole; David Luiz, Frank Lampard (c); Ramires, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard; Fernando Torres.

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United's flanks, van Persie the difference vs. WBA

United dominated the first half, attacking down the flanks. West Brom were better after the break, but couldn't score and couldn't deal with substitute Robin van Persie.

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10 goals and a Walcott hatty. Insanity.

Was that a football match? Apparently. A combination of brilliant play by Theo Walcott and ghastly defending by Newcastle led to seven goals for Arsenal.

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Swans just fine without Michu

No Michu? No problem. Danny Graham and Jonathan de Guzman picked up the slack for the Swans as they picked up a massive road victory over Fulham.

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Stoke fight back to earn a draw against Soton

Despite leading 3-1 at one point and having a man advantage for the final 20 minutes, Southampton couldn't hold on and were forced to settle for a draw against Stoke.

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Dzeko, Aguero down Norwich as Nasri sees red

In one of the most exciting games of the season, Manchester City kept pace with their cross-town rivals in the title race by putting four goals past Norwich.

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Reading win for the first time in over a month

Pavel Pogrebnyak's goal in the 4th minute was enough as Reading earned their first victory since mid-November.

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Arsenal vs. Newcastle United: Lineups

It's difficult to know what to make of this Theo Walcott at centre forward business. Is Arsene Wenger trying to drive up the England international's price? Is he acquiescing to Walcott's demands in the hope that he signs a new contract? Does he just really hate Olivier Giroud? Is it a bizarre typo? Anyway, it's happening, and Newcastle will have to deal with it.

Now that the Papiss Cisse-Demba Ba jinx seems to have worn off, the Magpies might have a fighting chance at the Emirates. Don't expect too much from them, but the visitors could make this interesting. Of course, with the flurry of goals in the early matches, this one will end up 0-0 or something.

Arsenal starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Wojciech Szczesny; Kieran Gibbs, Thomas Vermaelen, Per Mertesacker, Bacary Sagna; Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere; Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain; Theo Walcott.

Newcastle United starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul; Davide Santon, Fabricio Coloccini, James Perch, Danny Simpson; Gael Bigirimana, Cheik Tiote; Gabriel Obertan, Sylvain Marveaux, Papiss Cisse; Demba Ba.

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United edge out Baggies in tight game

Manchester United earned a deserved but nervy 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford, with a Gareth McAuley own-goal and Robin van Persie strike.

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Tottenham hit back to get win at Sunderland

Tottenham earned a win at the Stadium of Light thanks to a quick double of goals in the second half, cancelling out John O'Shea's opener for the hosts.

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Reading vs. West Ham United: Lineups

Sam Allardyce got a present from the FA with Carlton Cole's red card against Everton being rescinded making the striker available for today's match. Despite the congested and busy holiday schedule, West Ham will field the same eleven players today as they did during their mid-week loss. Since their 3-1 defeat of Chelsea, the Irons haven't won and will be looking to turn things around today.

Reading are desperate for points as they find themselves being buried deeper and deeper in the relegation zone. After a point against Swansea on Wednesday, Brian McDermott has decided to field the same starting lineup as well.

West Ham United starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Jussi Jääskeläinen; James Tomkins, Winston Reid, James Collins, Joey O'Brien; Mark Noble, Gary O'Neil; Kevin Nolan, Matthew Taylor, Matt Jarvis; Carlton Cole.

Reading starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Adam Federici; Chris Gunter, Ian Harte, Adrian Mariappa, Alex Pearce; Jem Karacan, Mikele Leigertwood; Jobi McAnuff, Jimmy Kébé, Danny Guthrie; Pavel Pogrebnyak.

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Man Utd vs. West Brom lineups: Kagawa starts

Shinji Kagawa starts for Manchester United as he makes his long-awaited return from injury.

The Japanese playmaker had shown glimpses of some fine form before suffering an injury early in the season which has kept him out for several weeks, and it appears he'll be thrust right into the thick of the action against West Brom. Robin van Persie, one yellow card away from suspension, is on the bench for United, with Danny Welbeck starting up front alone. Chris Smalling continues at right-back for the injured Rafael.

West Brom meanwhile make the controversial decision to rest players, but still name a fairly attacking lineup, with Markus Rosenberg, Peter Odemwingie, and Shane Long all starting.

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): David De Gea; Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling; Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley; Ashley Young, Shinji Kagawa, Antonio Valencia; Danny Welbeck.

West Bromwich Albion (4-5-1): Ben Foster; Billy Jones, Gareth McAuley, Gabriel Tamas, Liam Ridgewell; George Thorne, Chris Brunt, Markus Rosenberg, Graham Dorrans, Peter Odemwingie; Shane Long.

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Dzeko starts for Man City

Edin Dzeko will get a rare start for Manchester City on Saturday, with other strikers facing fitness issues. Both Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli have been ill recently and aren't fit to go 90 minutes. Samir Nasri, who has missed time through injury, also re-joins the side as Roberto Mancini does a bit of squad rotation. Norwich have picked a strong team, but are doing a bit of rotation as well. Grant Holt is out, but Harry Kane is finally fit again and makes the Canaries' bench.

Norwich City staring lineup (4-5-1): Mark Bunn; Javier Garrido, Sebastien Bassong, Michael Turner, Russell Martin; Wes Hoolahan, Bradley Johnson, Alex Tettey, Robert Snodgrass, Anthony Pilkington; Steve Morison

Manchester City starting lineup (4-2-2-2): Joe Hart; Gael Clichy, Matija Nastasić, Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta; Yaya Toure, Gareth Barry; David Silva, Samir Nasri; Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko

Kickoff is at 3 p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET from Carrow Road, and the game can be seen on FOX Soccer in the United States.

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Arsenal aim to kick Newcastle while they're down

Arsenal will look to make the most of Newcastle United's injury crisis as they face off in Saturday's late game.

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Sunderland vs. Tottenham Hotspur: Lineups

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has named a very attacking line-up as his side take on Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in the early kick-off in the Premier League.

Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe both start up front in a 4-4-2 shape, with Sandro and Moussa Dembele the midfield partnership. Kyle Naughton continues at right-back as Benoit Assou-Ekotto continues his rehabiliation from injury - the Cameroonian left-back returned to training weeks ago for Spurs but is still yet to feature for them.

Sunderland, meanwhile, opt for the usual 4-4-1-1 with Steven Fletcher ahead of Stephane Sessegnon. Jack Colback and Sebastian Larsson make up the midfield two, while Craig Gardner continues at right-back.

Sunderland (4-4-1-1): Simon Mignolet; Craig Gardner, John O'Shea, Carlos Cuellar, Matthew Kilgallon; Adam Johnson, Sebastian Larsson, Jack Colback, James McClean; Sessegnon; Fletcher.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Hugo Lloris; Kyle Walker, Steven Caulker, Michael Dawson, Kyle Naughton; Aaron Lennon, Moussa Dembele, Sandro, Gareth Bale; Emmanuel Adebayor, Jermain Defoe.

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Table-topping United look to extend lead

Somehow, despite a constantly rotating center of defense and a weak center of midfield, Manchester United are seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table. On Saturday, they face a team with a solid center, West Bromwich Albion.

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It's job preservation day for Mancini

Okay, so the Manchester City directors want Pep Guardiola, and he's on vacation until May. Still, Roberto Mancini might still get fired soon, right?

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Tottenham look to succeed where City failed

Tottenham will face a difficult away encounter on Saturday at the Stadium of Light against Sunderland.

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