Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Matchweek 22 Preview: London Derby; Basement Battle; Devils and Saints; Liverpool Looks to Start New Streak

The mid-week slate in the Premier League includes a London Derby between Chelsea and Spurs on Thursday. Chelsea would seem primed for a good run with a talented young roster under the direction of new manager Thomas Tuchel. Spurs are floundering at the moment under Jose Mourinho, having lost two on the trot and missing the inured Harry Kane.


Manchester United will try to stay on the heels of league leading Manchester City by capturing all three points when they host Saints. The Red Devils, though, have been vulnerable at home this season. Their four home losses to date represent the third highest season total in their Premier League history.  The Saints will be hoping hope to end a 3-match losing run when they visit Old Trafford.  

Manchester City looks to extend an 8-match winning run in league competition when they travel to Turf Moor to face a Burnley side currently starving for goals. A sixth consecutive clean sheet by the Citizens would establish a new club league record.  

Liverpool will play its first match at Anfield since the end of its 68-match home unbeaten run.  Following two away victories, the Reds will be attempting to win three consecutive league matches for the first time since the opening three matches of the season when they host Brighton. The Seagulls will be feeling increased confidence following their win over Spurs and three consecutive clean sheets.  A fourth consecutive clean sheet would be the first such streak for the Seagulls in topflight competition.  

Leicester tries to remain in the title hunt when it travels to London to face Fulham. The Foxes incurred their first loss of the new year when they fell to Leeds this past weekend, ending a nine-match unbeaten run for Leicester across all competitions.  The Cottagers have not won since November but have been playing an improved brand of football, earning a point in seven of their last ten matches.  

West Ham will try to rebound from their loss at Liverpool and continue with their successful season when the Hammers travel to Aston Villa. West Ham has already won as many matches as they did in the entirety of the 2019/20 season. Villa is looking to match a club record of four consecutive league home match clean sheets.  

Arsenal looks to continue a run of good form when it travels to struggling Wolves. The Gunners have won five times during their current seven match league unbeaten run and could have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, missing due to personal reasons the last two matches, back for Tuesday’s match. Wolves are looking to end an eight-match winless run.  The club is hoping new striker Willian Jose can alleviate the scoring struggles Wolves have had since the loss of injured striker Raul Jimenez.  

Everton go to Leeds where the Toffees could have trouble matching goals with the frenetic Whites attack.  Everton’s performance has been patchy of late, winning just two of their past five matches.  Only Chelsea, outside of the league’s current top four clubs, has scored more goals than Leeds this season.  

Crystal Palace goes to Newcastle with both teams coming off confidence building wins in their last outings. A lot of focus will be on whether Newcastle continues in the more aggressive style flashed in their win over Everton. It is unlikely conservative Palace manager Roy Hodgson will start his newly acquired striker, Jean-Philippe Mateta.  

West Brom visits Sheffield United in a battle between the league’s bottom two teams.  West Brom has allowed the most goals in the league.  Sheffield has scored the fewest. Sheffield would seem resigned to its relegation fate after bringing in no new transfers.  West Brom would seem to still retain hope of preserving manager Sam Allardyce’s run of never having been relegated. The Baggies added five new players in the just concluded window.

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