Friday, January 1, 2021

Week 17 Preview: Devils and Villans; Showdown at the Bridge; Return of the Moyesiah; Bielsa’s Irresistible Force Faces Mourinho’s Immovable Object

Top of the Table 

Liverpool tries to improve on its less than stellar road performance when it travels to Southampton on Monday.  The Reds have won but two of eight away matches but the Saints have failed to win in their last four matches at home. Both Liverpool and Southampton have drawn their past two league matches.  

Manchester United will be tested at home versus Aston Villa in a match of two of the league’s hottest teams.  Villa has lost but one of seven away matches this season.  Streaking Manchester United have won three and drawn one of their past four home matches.  The Red Devils enjoy a current nine game home and away league unbeaten run, winning seven of those matches.  Aston Villa is looking to extend its own unbeaten run to six matches.  

Leicester travels to Newcastle hoping to recapture its winning form after dropping points in its past two matches.  Leicester have won their last four away matches at Newcastle.  

Everton will be looking for a fifth consecutive league victory when they host West Ham.  Everton has conceded only one goal in a four-match winning run.  The stingy Toffees lead the league with eight clean sheets.  

Manchester City will be without five players due to COVID when they face Chelsea in a key league battle at Stamford Bridge.  Chelsea will be hoping to have midfielder Hakim Ziyech back  for a first match since early December.  A Ziyech return could help kick start an attack which has sputtered during a current stretch where Chelsea has won but one of five league matches.  Manchester City has been relying on its defense this season.  The Citizens’ thirteen clean sheets in all competitions is more than any club in Europe’s top five leagues.  

Jose Mourinho’s tactical acumen will be challenged when his defensive minded and currently struggling Spurs side play host to Leeds.  While currently winless in their last four league matches, Spurs have been a strong home side in winning three of their last four at their north London home.  

Mid Table

West Ham attempts to end a four-game winless streak when they visit Everton.  While the Hammers have lost in six of their last eight league matches at Everton’s Goodison Park, a fourth away win of this campaign would match their total away wins for all last season.  West Ham manager David Moyes has defeated current Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti in their five previous Premier League confrontations.  Moyes will be facing the club he once managed for over five hundred matches.


Leeds takes its swarming attack to north London in a matchup between Marcelo Bielsa and Jose Mourinho, two renowned managers with polar opposite styles.  

Wolves will try to return to the top half of the table with a win at Brighton.  Wolves have struggled for goals in the absence of striker Raul Jimenez but have flashed some interesting young talent throughout the line-up in recent matches.  

Arsenal seeks to make it three wins in a row when it visits West Brom.  The Gunners are looking to build on their two recent victories which put an end to a seven-game winless streak which had included five losses.  

Newcastle were impressive at home in holding Liverpool goalless in their last match.  The Magpies get no chance sit on their laurels as next up is Leicester, a team which has defeated Newcastle in seven of their last nine matches.  

Crystal Place hopes to end a five-game winless streak when it hosts bottom dwelling Sheffield United.  The Palace attack is likely to face a stuck in Blades defense.  Wilfried Zaha has eight goals for the Eagles this season, twice last season’s total.


Bottom of the Table

Burnley and Fulham square off in a key relegation battle match.  Burnley are five points clear of Fulham as they seek a fourth win in six matches.  The Cottagers have also shown some improvement in earning a point in each of the last four matches.  

Brighton and Hove Albion will try to steer clear of the relegation zone when it looks for a first win in seven matches against Wolves.  A loss by Brighton combined with a Fulham victory at Burnley would put the Seagulls in the relegation zone.  

West Brom hopes for a first home win under Sam Allardyce when they play host to Arsenal.  The Baggies have lost their first two at home under Allardyce including an embarrassing 5-0 spanking by Leeds last week.  

Sheffield United will again try for their first win of the season when they visit Crystal Palace. 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment: