Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Premier League Preview: Matchday Twenty-seven

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 8 Feb 2018

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All eyes will be on Wembley Stadium Saturday lunchtime as matchday twenty-seven in the Premier League kicks off with the North London derby.

Both sides aims are to finish the season in the top four though they are currently in fifth and sixth place, with Tottenham Hotspur four points ahead of Arsenal.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side can move, if only temporarily up to third place with the win while victory would see Arsene Wenger’s men move to within a point of their rivals and two of the Champions League qualification places ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures.

Spurs are favourites ahead of the game and they are set to welcome back Harry Kane, after the divisions top scorer was rested for the 2-0 FA Cup fourth round replay win over Newport County on Wednesday evening.

King Kane

Kane netted his one hundredth Premier League goal in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool last weekend and twenty-two of those have come this season.

Having won the Golden Boot in both 2016 and 2017, he can be backed at 4/9 to make it three in a row ahead of Mo Salah and Sergio Aguero who are currently one goal and five goals behind him respectively.

Saturday’s late kick-off sees league leaders Manchester City take on Leicester City with Riyad Mahrez once again expected to miss out as the fallout from him being denied a move to the Etihad Stadium on transfer deadline day continues.

Runaway leaders

On the pitch, Pep Guardiola’s side can move sixteen points clear at the summit with a win with the three teams below them going into the weekend not playing until Sunday and Monday.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Swansea City will look to continue their revival under Carlos Carvalhal as they host Burnley while Everton will be keen to bounce back from their humiliation at the Emirates Stadium a week ago as they host Crystal Palace.

Eighteenth place Stoke City have the chance to move level on points with Brighton and Hove Albion in thirteenth if they beat the Seagulls at the Bet 365 Stadium while Javi Gracia will hope to continue his unbeaten start as Watford manager as the Hornets travel to West Ham United.

Battle at the bottom

Sunday’s early kick-off sees struggling Huddersfield Town take on Bournemouth before second place Manchester United travel to Newcastle United, who are one of a number of sides dangerously close to the bottom three.

Another of those teams – Southampton take on Liverpool in Sunday’s late afternoon kick-off while the action concludes at Stamford Bridge where Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from back-to-back defeats as they host bottom-of-the-table West Bromwich Albion.

Antonio Conte’s job appears to be safe at the moment, though a poor result against the Baggies could perhaps be the final straw with the Blues not losing three league games in row since October 1999.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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 SoccerNews.com and FreeBetting.com, 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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