Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Premier League Preview – Matchday 23

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 22 Jan 2016

Arsene Wenger will be keen to issue a statement of intent as his side take on champions Chelsea

Arsene Wenger will be keen to issue a statement of intent as his side take on champions Chelsea

The pick of the fixtures from matchday twenty-three in the Premier League sees leaders Arsenal face champions Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.

Arsene Wenger’s side go in to the weekend ahead of Leicester City on goal difference, but could be in third place by the time their game kicks off.

Meanwhile, Chelsea remain just four points above the relegation zone after two successive high-scoring draws while there is now a fourteen-point gap between themselves and the top four.

Leicester face a tough test, with Stoke City the visitors to the King Power Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Anything other than defeat for the hosts would see them reclaim top spot while victory for Stoke will see them, if only temporarily move up to the dizzy heights of sixth.

Hammers great value

West Ham United are the current occupants of the sixth spot and they host title favourites Manchester City in Saturday’s late kick off.

The Hammers were the first team to beat Manuel Pellegrini’s side this season while they also won last season’s corresponding fixture though they are massive underdogs for this fixture, at a mouth-watering price of 4/1.

The Citizens sit in third place, a point behind both Leicester and Arsenal, though their goal difference is the best in the division.

Spurs in the hunt

Tottenham Hotspur will look to keep the pressure on the top three as they travel to a Crystal Palace side who are looking for their first league goal in five games and themselves are desperate for the points as they look to keep in touch with those sides pushing for a European qualification place.

Manchester United are unbeaten in four league games, and will be hoping that captain Wayne Rooney can keep his fine goal-scoring run going against Southampton, who have moved into the top half after securing back-to-back wins.

Liverpool play Norwich City in Saturday’s early kick-off looking to end a run of three league games without a win, while the Canaries will be only to aware that defeat coupled with other results going against them could see them end the weekend in the relegation zone.

Relegation scrap

Sunderland play Bournemouth in what could well be described as a relegation six pointer, with the Black Cats four points from safety and the Cherries just three points clear of the danger zone while fellow strugglers Swansea City and Newcastle United travel to Everton and Watford respectively.

Bottom of the table Aston Villa remain odds on favourites to drop down to the Championship despite taking four points from their last two league games.

They are ten points from safety and know nothing less than a win against local rivals West Bromwich Albion, who are themselves six points clear of the drop zone, will be good enough.

Can Arsenal tighten their grip at the top with victory over the champions?


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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