Thursday, April 19, 2018

Premier League Preview – Matchday 16

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 11 Dec 2015

Romelu Lukaku will look to continue his fine form as Everton travel to Norwich City

Romelu Lukaku will look to continue his fine form as Everton travel to Norwich City

Norwich City and Everton get proceedings underway in matchday sixteen in the Premier League, with the hosts desperate for the points as the bottom three looms.

Alex Neil’s side are out of the relegation zone on goal difference, though three points here would see them, if only briefly, leapfrog champions Chelsea and move into fourteenth place while Roberto Martinez’s men are looking to keep pressure on the top four, with a Champions League qualification spot well in their sights.

Saturday’s final game sees Bournemouth, fresh from stunning Jose Mourinho’s men at Stamford Bridge host Manchester United, who go in to the game having crashed out of the Champions League midweek.

Bournemouth buoyant

Eddie Howe’s men can pull themselves away from trouble if they record another shock win, while despite drawing four of their last six league games, the Red Devils can end the day level on points with leaders Leicester City with victory.

That is also the case for title favourites Manchester City, who host a Swansea City side without a manager following Garry Monk’s dismissal on Wednesday.

The former central defender was relieved of his duties after presiding over a run of just one win in eleven league games, form which has left them just a point above the drop zone.

Arsenal in the hunt

Second place Arsenal, who beat the odds to book their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League, travel to Aston Villa in a repeat of last season’s FA Cup final and the hosts will be desperate to build on last week’s draw with Southampton which took Remi Garde’s side on to six points – seven from safety.

North East duo Sunderland and Newcastle United both have the chance to climb above the dotted line as they host Watford and travel to Tottenham Hotspur respectively while West Bromwich Albion will be looking for better than a third straight 1-1 draw as they travel to Liverpool.

Liverpool suffered a shock defeat to Newcastle last Sunday, but a return to winning ways will keep alive their hopes of forcing their way back in to the top four, while both Crystal Palace and Southampton will both have one eye on the European places, and will strive to boost their claim when they meet at Selhurst Park, as will West Ham United and Stoke City, who are two of the other sides in that clutch of seven sides that are separated by just two points.

Leaders vs champions

The round of fixtures concludes on Monday evening when Leicester host champions Chelsea, and the home win can be backed at an awfully generous 11/5.

Three points for the Foxes will fuel the whispers that they might actually be able to mount a serious title challenge and at the same time, quash the Blues’ feint hopes of doing so themselves.

Will Leicester City’s success story continue?


Deke Hardman

Freelance football writer with a love of the game that goes back to the mid nineties when both his beloved Nottingham Forest and England had genuine hope of acheiving some level of success. A regular contributor to both and, Deke also dabbles in music journalism with his heart and head still stuck in the latter years of the twentieth century.



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