Thursday, February 21, 2019

Premier League Preview – Matchday 26

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 8 Feb 2019

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Matchday twenty-six in the Premier League action gets underway at Craven Cottage on Saturday lunchtime, with Fulham taking on Manchester United.

Four defeats from their last five league games have kept Claudio Ranieri’s side locked in the relegation zone, with even a victory against the odds on Saturday only set to take them to within four points of seventeenth place ahead of the rest of the weekend’s games.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are fighting a very different battle and they will, even if just for a short while, move into the top four if they can triumph once again.

It’s quite a run for the thirteen-time Premier League champions, who are now priced at just 11/8 to finish the season in the Champions League qualification places.

Challenge

Liverpool will be looking to reclaim top spot as they welcome Bournemouth to Anfield, while new leaders Manchester City will be able to respond as they host Chelsea in the pick of the weekend’s clashes on Sunday afternoon.

Three points at Goodison Park midweek was enough to put Pep Guardiola’s side in first place, and with little room for error the City manager will hope he can make amends for the defeat the champions suffered at Stamford Bridge back in December.

Chelsea can also ill afford to drop any further points with both Manchester United and Arsenal hot on their heels in the pursuit for a top four spot, and the Gunners will be keen to pile more misery on Huddersfield Town when they head to the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Rooted

The Terriers are rooted to the foot of the table after taking just one point from the last thirty-six available to them – form that sees them a massive thirteen from safety ahead of the weekend’s game.

Cardiff City will climb out of the bottom three if they can overcome Southampton at St. Mary’s Stadium while Burnley, who are just two points clear of the dotted line head to Brighton and Hove Albion in Saturday’s late kick-off.

Capital

There is a London derby at Selhurst Park where Crystal Palace take on West Ham United while Marco Silva will hope to get Everton back on track, and in doing so get one over his old club as his side head to Watford.

Sunday’s early kick-off sees Tottenham Hotspur, who will consider themselves well in a title race after Liverpool’s dropping of points recently take on Leicester City, while the action concludes at Molineux on Monday evening, where Wolverhampton Wanderers host Newcastle United.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are in pole position to finish in seventh place after winning their last three league games on the bounce while their opponents are still looking over their shoulders after being narrowly beaten at Wembley a week ago.

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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