Thursday, August 22, 2019

Premier League Preview – Matchday 31

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 16 Mar 2018

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With the quarter finals of the FA Cup taking place there are just four games in the Premier League this weekend with Liverpool’s clash with Watford arguably the pick of the bunch.

The Reds are the only side in the top four in action and they will leapfrog Tottenham Hotspur into third place if they avoid defeat while victory would put them just a point behind Manchester United – the side who beat them last time out in the league.

The fixture comes a day after Jurgen Klopp’s side were drawn against Premier League leaders Manchester City in the last eight of the Champions League though they have this and one other game before the first leg takes place while there is of course the international break next weekend.

Watford can tighten their grip on a top half spot with three points and even move up a place with a win while they would also move to within four points of seventh place, which could well be good enough for them to secure European qualification.

Race for safety

Earlier in the day all three sides currently in the relegation zone are in action with Crystal Palace traveling to Huddersfield Town, Stoke City hosting Everton and bottom-of-the-table West Bromwich Albion at Bournemouth.

Having initially seen an upturn form following the arrival of Roy Hodgson, Palace are in a tailspin and will be desperate to get a result this weekend, not least with Liverpool their opponents next weekend.

In the eyes of the bookmakers, there are four sides more likely to be relegated than the Eagles though if you want to back them finish the campaign in the bottom three they can currently be backed at a price of 5/2.

Consolidation

Huddersfield have taken seven points from the past twelve available to them and a win here would see them move seven points clear of their opponents and give them that extra bit of confidence going into the final seven matches of the campaign.

Stoke have won just once in twelve games and this match against Everton comes before a tough double header which will see them face both North London sides in the space of six days.

The Toffees will also be looking for a positive outcome with games against Manchester City and rivals Liverpool coming immediately after the international break though their win over Brighton and Hove Albion last time out moved them ten points clear of the drop zone.

Finally, West Brom will be desperate to avoid a seventh straight defeat as they take on a Bournemouth side who themselves haven’t won in four, though a return to winning ways for the Cherries could see them climb back into the top half depending on results elsewhere.

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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