Liverpool to play opening Saturday encounter

In a packed Saturday Premier League football evening, Liverpool will visit Stoke City and try to win back some respect. After a string of losses and being knocked out of FA Cup by Reading, The Reds are low on confidence but will still be the better side on paper. Though without Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Yossi Benayoun and Ryan Babel, Stoke can try to capitalise and force a win here. Stoke will be without their forward Tuncay who is out with an injury.

Chelsea will be hosting Sunderland in the second match in the line up. Didier Drogba, John Obi Mikel, Michael Essien and Salomon Kalou are all out on International duty and will be missed at Stamford Bridge. Anelka will return after an injury but Deco will have to sit out. Kenwyne Jones’s return will spur up the visitors and the match promises to be a good one. It is a match that Chelsea has to win to consolidate their lead at the top.

Manchester United will be keeping a close eye on the Chelsea match as they host Burnley tonight. Edwin van der Sar returns to look after the post and Nemanja Vidic, Ben Foster and Nani also might play. This match will be very important for Brian Laws as this is his first outing as manager. The Clarets will be high on their last victory against the Red Devils at Turf Moor and would like to topple them at Old Trafford as well.

Hull will go to TottenHam as the face the Spurs. The hosts have only played one match in January and now have 5 lined up in the next fortnight. This match looks fairly one sided but Spurs will have to make sure they win emphatically.

The Wolves will play Wigan Athletic in their first match this year. Both teams are just one point shy of relegation zone and will put in everything for the win. The one that wins here could see a safety zone while a loss could mean dander staring in the face.

The most interesting match of the day would be between Everton and Manchester City. Roberto Mancini has been a winning spree so far and would like to continue that as he goes to Everton. The hosts managed to frisk a point away from Arsenal in their last match and will aim for the kill this time too. City are without Adebayor, Bridge, Ireland, Johnson and Lescott, Toure and the newly acquired Patrick Vieira. The absence of many major players could be the chance for Everton but Carlos Tevez could play a major role here.

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