Monday, August 26, 2019

Premier League Preview – Matchday 32

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 30 Mar 2019

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It really is the business end of the season as the Premier League returns this weekend, and the action gets underway at Craven Cottage where struggling Fulham host champions Manchester City.

The hosts go in to the game thirteen points from safety, so could really do without suffering what would be an eighth defeat in succession though the odds are unsurprisingly stacked against them.

In fact, the Cottagers can be backed at a price of 20/1, which is about as highly priced as a home side has been this term.

Pep Guardiola’s side have won ten of their last eleven league games – a defeat to Newcastle United at the end of January the only blot on that run – and another triumph here would see them leapfrog Liverpool into first place, ahead of the Reds match at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon.


The match is the first in a testing run for Jurgen Klopp’s side, with a visit from Chelsea also on the horizon as well as their Champions League quarter final with Porto.

Even the most optimistic of Spurs’ fans would probably not consider them still in the title race, though they can certainly play a big part in deciding where the trophy will end up, especially if they can take all three points from their visit to Anfield.

Arsenal will look to strengthen their grip on a top four spot as they welcome Newcastle United to the Emirates Stadium on Monday evening while Manchester United, fresh from announcing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their permanent manager, host Watford on Saturday afternoon.


Chelsea go in to the weekend in sixth place, three points behind the Gunners ahead of their trip to a Cardiff City side who are fighting for their lives at the wrong end of the table while Huddersfield Town could be just one defeat away from relegation if they lose at Crystal Palace.

Southampton will move level on points with Brighton and Hove Albion if they beat the Seagulls at the Amex Stadium though both sides are still looking over their shoulder while Burnley, who like the Saints start Saturday just two points above the dotted line, entertain Wolverhampton Wanderers at Turf Moor.


Realistically both Leicester City and Bournemouth can most probably consider themselves safe ahead of their match at the King Power Stadium, while there is another midtable battle at the London Stadium as West Ham United host Everton.

The Foxes, the Cherries, the Hammers and the Toffees will still all fancy their chances in grabbing seventh spot and with that European qualification for next season, though it is Wolves who currently occupy that position with a one-point advantage over Watford who are favourites to finish highest of the second-tier sides in the top flight.


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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