Friday, December 6, 2019

Premier League Review: Matchday Eighteen

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 15 Dec 2017

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Matchday eighteen in the Premier League kicks of with the meeting of two in form sides as Leicester City take on Crystal Palace at the King Power.

Both sides have been resurgent under new managers with the 2016 champions unbeaten in their last five games – a run which has seen them rise to eighth place in the table.

Meanwhile having lost their opening seven league games without scoring a single goal, Palace haven’t lost in six and could move up to fourteen place with a win here.

Of Saturday’s three-o-clock kick-offs, Chelsea will be looking to move level on points with Manchester United as they host Southampton while either one of Burnley or Arsenal could, if only temporarily move into the top four should they win and other results fall in their favour.

Contrasting fortunes

The Clarets travel to Brighton and Hove Albion looking to secure a third straight victory while the Seagulls are merely attempting to stop the rot after taking just one point from their past five games.

Arsenal are without a win in three league outings but will fancy their chances against a Newcastle United side who are dropping dangerously close to the bottom three after going eight games without a win – a run which has seen them take just one point.

Elsewhere West Ham United, who will hope to build on an impressive week which has seen them take four points off Chelsea and Arsenal and keep two clean sheets in the process, travel to a Stoke City side themselves desperate for a win while Watford welcome Huddersfield Town to Vicarage Road.

Heavyweight clash

Saturday’s late kick-off is arguably the pick of the weekend’s fixtures in England’s top flight as leaders Manchester City look to continue their record-breaking winning run against Tottenham Hotspur.

Spurs are eighteen points behind their opponents, who notched up a fifteenth straight league win midweek, thumping Swansea City by four goals to nil.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men appear to be among a host of sides battling it out for second place and you can back them to be the highest placed side in the division aside from Pep Guardiola’s men at 12/1 with 888 Sport.

Manchester United are the side currently in the driving seat for second and travel to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday with the Baggies looking for their first win since August while the days other game sees Liverpool go to Bournemouth.

Last season’s clash between the sides on the south-coast was a seven goal thriller with the Cherries coming from 3-1 down to secure the points and anything other than a win for Eddie Howe’s men here could see them slip dangerously close to the dotted line.

Finally, a resurgent Everton welcome bottom-of-the table Swansea City to Goodison Park on Monday evening looking to continue their rise under Sam Allardyce.


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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