Sunday 07 October 2012

Matchweek 7: Barclays Premier League previews

A preview of Sunday's Barclays Premier League 3pm encounters

  • Brendan Rosgers insists there is no hang-up over Liverpool's failure to win at Anfield

Preview of today's Barclays Premier League matches taking place at 3pm.

Liverpool v Stoke City

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists his side do not have a “psychological” problem playing at Anfield as they seek their first Premier League win there this season.

"Sometimes it is just a confidence factor, and you also have to imagine that when any team comes to Anfield, it is one of the biggest games of the [visiting] players’ lives,” Rodgers said.

"Playing at home is certainly not a distraction. To play at Anfield is a real honour and a privilege and the support we get from the crowd is incredible.

"The backing we get every time we play there is fantastic, so it is just one of those statistics there is no explanation for. What you have to do is just try to work very hard.

"To play at Anfield is a real honour and a privilege"
Brendan Rodgers

Both sides won last weekend, although Stoke manager Tony Pulis made clear that trying to read into early-season form is futile.

"You can never call a game,” Pulis said. “The players have trained really well during the week and then you play poorly on the Saturday and then you’ll have another occasion where the lads won’t train so well during the week and they’ll get a result.

"It’s a funny old game so it will be the team who turns up and plays well and hopefully we will get a few breaks.”

Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa

Andre Villas-Boas never doubted he would turn around Tottenham Hotspur’s season after a struggling start.

Spurs took only two points from their first three Premier League games, but have moved up to fifth in the table with three consecutive victories including last week’s 3-2 win away to Manchester United.

"I have never doubted my abilities, I always trusted them," Villas-Boas said. "It’s funny how things change so dramatically. The Premier League is completely unpredictable. We started the season [badly]. We are now fifth from the top.

"You have to perform at this level. This is the early stages in the Premier League."

"I have never doubted my abilities, I always trusted them"
Andre Villas-Boas

Paul Lambert hasn’t had much to savour this season, but the Aston Villa manager has taken heart from the development of rookie defenders Matthew Lowton and Joe Bennett, whom he signed from Sheffield United and Middlesbrough respectively.

"People talk about them as hidden gems and you get great satisfaction from seeing them do well for themselves,” Lambert said. "You wouldn’t have thought they’ve just come from where they’ve come from, that’s for sure.

"If you are talking about Lowton and Bennett, they don’t seem fazed at all. Be it Championship or League One football, these are tough leagues so they are battle-hardened. They know what it is like to play proper football.

"They have earned the right to play at Tottenham and it is not something they should be frightened by. They should not go there with any trepidation."

At premierleague.com you can follow live commentaries on each match, view the best photos and stay up to date with all the statistics and other matches as they come in during the day by clicking on the links above right.

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Key Points

  • The Barclays Premier League enjoys its seventh matchweek this weekend
  • Follow all the previews and pre-match press conferences here
  • Matchday Live offers live commentaries and photos of the matches as they happen followed by reports