Monday, February 24, 2020

Premier League Preview – Matchday Twelve

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 9 Nov 2018

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There will be little debate over what this weekend’s most watering Premier League fixture is, with City hosting United in the Manchester derby on Sunday afternoon.

Victory for the champions will see them move twelve points ahead of their city rivals, while they go in to the weekend with a goal difference that is twenty-eight greater than Jose Mourinho’s men.

The Red Devils secured their most impressive victory since, well, last season’s clash at the Etihad Stadium where they came from two goals down to take all three points.

However, Pep Guardiola’s men go in to his game on the back of scoring six goals twice in front of their own fans in a week – form which contributes to United being an incredibly high 15/2 to emerge victorious.


As someone who grew up through their dominance in the nineties and the noughties, it was somewhat unsettling seeing the reaction of shock to the result in Turin on Wednesday evening, and I certainly cannot recall them being priced so largely in a one-off fixture.

It will be interesting to see the viewing fixtures to Arsenal vs Wolverhampton Wanderers, which takes place at the same time as the battle in Manchester, which is no way disparaging to either side.

The Gunners have drawn three of their last four games but remain unbeaten in fifteen while Wolves will be desperate to get back on song after losing their last three.

Unbeaten Chelsea welcome Everton to Stamford Bridge earlier on Sunday while the day’s action kicks off at Anfield where Liverpool, who are also yet to lose host bottom-of-the-table Fulham.

Last chance?

The way the games are staggered means that there is a very good chance the lead will change on three occasions while Slavisa Jokanovic will merely be concentrating on getting any kind of result as he attempts to save his job.

Saturday’s action concludes at Selhust Park, where Crystal Palace take on Tottenham Hotspur – the only side in the top five to play before Sunday while sixth place Bournemouth travel to Newcastle United, who will hope to build on last week’s victory – their first of the season.

Huddersfield also triumphed at last, last time out and they host West Ham United on Saturday while elsewhere Southampton play Watford and Leicester City take on Burnley.

Flying in different directions

Both the Hornets and the Foxes are on the fringes of the European places after solid starts to the campaign while matchday twelve commences at the Cardiff City Stadium, where the Bluebirds play the Seagulls.

Brighton and Hove Albion could also move to within touching distance of the chasing pack if they return to winning ways in South Wales while Neil Warnock’s men, who are odds on favourites to be relegated will purely want to get themselves out of the bottom three.


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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