Five things to look forward to in this weekend's Premier League action

Inside Loftus Road

QPR, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United, Chelsea and West Ham are among those most desperate to stay afloat or keep pace with their rivals.

Key players return to face their old clubs, there's a relegation dogfight that could see two managers in their last match at their club, and Newcastle are due to dish out a hiding...

1. QPR vs Southampton: Dubbed "El Sackico" by some, Saturdays match at Loftus Road could be the last game for either manager, or perhaps even both should a truly dispiriting draw take place. QPR are bottom of the league despite boasting some excellent players in their ranks, and haven't been able to muster a win so far this season. Southampton sit one point and one place above them in the table, with one win from their first eleven games. Two teams, 9 points from a possible 66 between them, and a combined goal difference of -49. Something has to give on Saturday.

2. Emmanuel Adebayor: The Togolese striker faces his second old club in two weeks, and whilst Manchester City fans were largely indifferent to the man who spent most of his career with them out on loan, he will get a rather more frosty welcome at Arsenal. The North London derby is one of the most reliably brilliant matches on the Premier League calendar, indeed sometimes I almost wish I was a neutral so I could enjoy the proceedings without the crushing worry of heartbreak at the end of the match, and Adebayor's presence takes it up a further notch.

3. Newcastle United: Eleven games in, Newcastle's campaign has been strangely muted this season. A lack of balance in the formation has seen Cisse, Cabaye and Ben Arfa yet to produce their best, with only Demba Ba hitting his straps so far this year. Cabaye may well be out for Swansea's visit on Saturday, but if Pardew can jink his set up a bit to allow Ben Arfa more freedom in the attack, Newcastle may suddenly find themselves playing the football they produced at the end of last season. When it does happen, someone's going to get a thrashing, so teams heading to St James should be wary.

4. Roberto Di Matteo: Last season Chelsea's 1-0 loss at West Brom spelled the end for Andre Villas-Boas, with the Portuguese replaced by former Baggies boss Di Matteo. The rest, as they say, is history. Di Matteo was sacked at West Brom after a miserable run of results in 2011, he returns at the head of the European Champions with one of the most talented squads in the world. West Brom have been excellent this season as well, and the match at the Hawthorns could rival the North London derby for entertainment value.

5. West Ham vs Stoke: This is a Monday night game to savour, with the clash of Allardyce and Pulis's sides an intriguing proposition. West Ham have been impressive this year, not only in their results but also with their style of play. Compared to Stoke they are certainly no long ball merchants and Allardyce will be keen for his side to demonstrate that at the Boleyn Ground on Monday evening.

images: © Jan Solo, © Ben Sutherland

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