Saturday, December 14, 2019

Premier League Preview – Matchday 23

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 18 Jan 2019

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Matchday twenty-three in the Premier League kicks off with a crucial match in the ever intriguing battle for seventh place, as Wolverhampton Wanderers host Leicester City.

The Foxes go in to the game in eighth, three places and two points ahead of their opponents with Watford currently the ‘best of the rest’ after stringing together a run of form which has seen them lose just one of their last seven league games.

Next up for the Hornets is a visit from a Burnley side who have turned a corner of late, winning their last three games – as many victories had managed in their first nineteen attempts.


Last weekend’s triumph over Fulham saw Sean Dyche’s side move three points clear of the bottom three and ten clear of bottom of the table Huddersfield Town.

The Terriers ended a run of ten defeats in all competitions with a draw at fellow strugglers Cardiff City last weekend – a match which proved to be the last with David Wagner at the helm.

The enigmatic German parted company with the Yorkshire club ahead of this weekend’s visit of champions Manchester City, who will have no interest in showing any mercy to the their opponents as they look to keep on leaders Liverpool’s coattails.

One goal was enough for Jurgen Klopp’s men last time out as they edged past Brighton and Hove Alibon, and they will no doubt be happy enough with another 1-0 win having been beaten in three of the Eagles’ last five visits to Anfield.

Third place Tottenham Hotspur will be keen to return to winning ways as they make the short trip to Fulham, after being beaten by Manchester United at Wembley last Sunday.

The Cottagers have lost back-to-back league games – form which has seen them stuck in nineteenth place though they could move to within two points of safety if they win and other results fall in their favour.


Newcastle United could be forgiven for seeing Saturday’s visit of Cardiff as a must win game after they slipped into the bottom three a week ago, while Neil Warnock is most probably saying the very same thing.

The Bluebirds sit just one place and one point above eighteenth place Newcastle and remain odds on for relegation at 4/6.

Having taken an impressive four points from their tricky tips to Chelsea and Leicester, Southampton will look to pull further away from trouble as they face Everton at St. Mary’s Stadium.


Bournemouth and West Ham United – two other sides with their eyes on seventh place lock horns at the Vitality Stadium while Manchester United host Brighton and Hove Albion knowing that anything other than defeat will see them move above Arsenal into fifth place.

The Gunners take on Chelsea in Saturday’s late kick-off and will be nine points behind the top four if the suffer another defeat.


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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