Friday, April 20, 2018

Premier League Preview – Matchday 19

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 28 Dec 2015

Guus Hiddink takes his search for a first win in his second stint in charge of Chelsea to Old Trafford.

Guus Hiddink takes his search for a first win in his second stint in charge of Chelsea to Old Trafford.

Manchester United welcome Chelsea to Old Trafford in the pick of fixtures from matchday 19, with both sides desperate for the points as they each attempt to end a disappointing first half of the season on a high.

The Blues parted company with their manager Jose Mourinho just over a week ago, while Red Devils’ boss Louis van Gaal is the huge favourite to be the next to lose his job and anything less than three points here could be the final straw.

The champions drew with in-form Watford at the weekend, in Guus Hidink’s first game in charge of his second spell at the club and more dropped points here could see them slip into the bottom three should other results go against them.

Arsenal in the hunt

Second-place Arsenal will look to bounce back from Saturday’s shock defeat to Southampton as they host a Bournemouth, with three points enough to take Arsene Wenger’s side, if only temporarily back to the top of the table.

Pre-season relegation favourites the Cherries are currently six points off the top six, but also just three above the bottom three so they will be keen to continue their unbeaten run which currently stands at six games.

Spurs on the up

Tottenham Hotspur could move to within three points of leaders Leicester City if they win at Watford, though the Hornets themselves without a defeat in their last five games.

Liverpool play lowly Sunderland on Wednesday, looking to build on Saturday’s win over the table toppers while Sam Allardyce’s men will be keen to close the gap between themselves and seventeenth place Norwich City after yet another defeat last time out.

Everton play Stoke City, with both among a clutch of sides pushing for European place and both being on the back of a Boxing Day win to nil while Crystal Palace could move into the top four with victory over Swansea City, who won for the first time in seven as they took on West Bromwich Albion at the weekend.

Battle at the bottom

Bottom of the league Aston Villa, still searching for their first league win since the opening day of the campaign face Norwich City and could move to within six points of safety with a victory while anything other than a win for the Canaries could see them drop into the relegation zone.

Newcastle United could climb out of the bottom three if they avoid defeat to West Bromwich Albion who despite being in thirteenth place are just three points clear of the danger zone such is the closeness of the division.

Finally, Leicester host championship favourites Manchester City on Tuesday evening with victory for either side set to ignite talk of a potential title tilt.

With not much between both the Foxes and the Citizens and the Red Devils and the Blues, you may be tempted to back both games to end in a draw, which is priced at just over 23/2.

Who will begin 2016 on top of the Premier League?


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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