Sunday, December 9, 2018

Premier League Preview: Matchday Twenty-One

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 30 Dec 2017

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Manchester City can finish the year on over sixty points if they win at Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon in arguably the pick of the final round of Premier League fixtures for 2017.

The league leaders have dropped just two points all season and are looking for what would be their nineteenth straight league win, which would match Pep Guardiola’s best ever run as a manager having achieved that amount whilst at Barcelona.

However, Palace will have something to say about that as they look to bounce back from Thursday evening’s defeat to Arsenal – a result which ended an eight game unbeaten run – their best ever in the Premier League.

Off the pace

Back-to-back draws have seen second place Manchester United slip to fifteen points behind their neighbours and they will look to return to winning ways as they take on Southampton in Saturday’s late kick-off.

The Saints, fresh from sanctioning the sale of marquee defender Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool, are without a win in seven and go in to matchday twenty-one just two points above the relegation zone.

Champions Chelsea are unbeaten in five and will, if only temporarily leapfrog their former manager’s side if they take the points from their clash with Stoke City while Liverpool will hope to keep on the coattails of the chasing pack as they welcome Leicester City to Anfield.

Gaining ground

Tottenham Hotspur aren’t in action this weekend meaning rivals Arsenal can move into the top five if they avoid defeat against West Bromwich Albion who will hope to end 2017 on a high following an eighteen game winless streak.

Burnley can move to within a point of Spurs if they beat Huddersfield Town at the John Smiths Stadium while Everton, who are yet to taste defeat under Sam Allardyce travel to face struggling Bournemouth.

The Cherries were involved in a six-goal thriller on Boxing Day though couldn’t find a winner and will end the year in the bottom three should the lose to the Toffees.

Danger zone

Newcastle United, who were the latest team to be defeated by the champions elect are looking over their shoulder as they sit just a point above the dotted line and host a Brighton and Hove Albion side who will have fond memories of the year regardless of this weekends results.

Finally, Carlos Carvalhal takes charge of Swansea City for the first time after being named as Paul Clement’s replacement and his first task is a trip to Watford.

The former Sheffield Wednesday boss finds his new side bottom of the table, five points from safety having won just three of their twenty games so far and they can be backed at a price of 4/1 to avoid relegation.

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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