Monday, January 27, 2020

Premier League Preview: Matchday Twenty-eight

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 23 Feb 2018

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On paper at least, the Premier League fixture list has saved the best til last this weekend as Manchester United host Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

With leaders Manchester City turning their attention to the EFL Cup final, both sides have the chance to close the gap at the top though they go in to the game sixteen and nineteen points off the pace respectively.

Victory for the reigning champions would mean the champions elect would need just five wins from their remaining eleven games to clinch the title while a home win would surely just delay the inevitable.

High flying

Liverpool entertain West Ham United on Saturday looking for the three points that would see them, if only temporarily move into second place with the Hammers among those looking to create more distance between themselves and the bottom three.

Two of the three current residents of the relegation zone face tricky trips with Southampton taking on Burnley at Turf Moor and Stoke City traveling to Leicester City while bottom-of-the-table West Bromwich Albion plays host to Huddersfield Town.

The Baggies have won just one of their last twenty-four matches – a woeful run that has culminated in four straight defeats in all competitions.

Low riders

They are four points adrift at the bottom and seven from safety so will be keen to take what the can from a run which sees them avoid any of the top six for six.

Despite only arriving at the Hawthorns three months ago, Alan Pardew is favourite to be the next manager to leave his post with the Midlands outfit odds on for relegation at 4/11.

Unbeaten run

Swansea City are now unbeaten in ten games in all competitions though remain just a point above the dotted line, however a win over Brighton and Hove Albion would see them leapfrog the Seagulls and perhaps move to within a point of the top half should other results fall in their favour.

Crystal Palace are also just one point better off than eighteenth place Stoke City and face a tough test in Sunday’s early kick-off as they welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Selhurst Park.

Spurs can move ten points clear of North London rivals with the a win that would also keep them well in the race for second place.

Despite being thrashed by Huddersfield last time out Bournemouth are in the top half though they could be replaced by Newcastle United, if the North East side can take the spoils from their trip to the Vitality Stadium and both West Ham and Watford lose.

The Hornets take on Everton in Saturday’s late kick-off in what promises to be a closely fought contest between two sides who will both fancy themselves as finishing ‘best of the rest’.


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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