Friday, February 12, 2021

Matchweek 24 Preview: Jose Under Fire; Top Four Battle at King Power; Leaky Baggies; Rematch for Saints & Wolves; Will Anyone Score at Selhurst?

Manchester City face the last team to defeat them when they welcome Spurs to the Etihad this weekend.  The Citizens have won 10 consecutive league matches, 15 across all competitions since a November loss to then league leader Spurs.  Jose Mourinho’s squad have now fallen to eighth in the table and British bookmaker Paddy Power has published odds indicating Jose Mourinho to be the most likely next Premier League manager to be sacked. 

Manchester United look to extend their 18 away match unbeaten run in the league when they travel to West Brom. The Red Devils are the only Premier League team not to have lost away from home this season. West Brom’s 31 goals conceded at home this season are the most by a Premier League team at this stage of the season in 60 years. The Baggies have won just once at home this season, versus Sheffield United in November.  

A top four matchup sees Liverpool travel to King Power Stadium to face Leicester. It has been three years since Leicester defeated Liverpool in a home match and The Foxes have already lost five home matches this season, one more than all last season.  Leicester’s James Maddison enjoys playing at King Power, however, and has four goals and two assists in his last six home matches.

Liverpool have won just two of their seven league matches in 2021, losing four of those seven and have scored just eight times in nine matches since a 7-0 win at Crystal Place in December. Fabinho has been announced out for Liverpool. Leicester’s James Justin is out for the season with a knee injury.  

Fifth place Chelsea play host to a Newcastle squad decimated by injury.  Newcastle will be missing leading scorer Callum Wilson as well as defenders Fabian Schar and Javier Manquillo when they visit Stamford Bridge. The Blues should be well positioned to continue Tomas Tuchel’s unbeaten start, now at four matches, in the Premier League. Chelsea opponents have yet to score a goal since Tuchel’s arrival with an own goal by Antonio Rudiger being the only defensive blemish in four matches under Tuchel. Chelsea have lost only one Premier League home match to Newcastle, that loss coming in 2012.  

Sixth place West Ham will be hoping Michail Antonio’s troublesome hamstring allows him to play when Sheffield United visits London Stadium. The Hammers are thin up front, having dispatched Sebastien Haller in the transfer window and losing Andriy Yarmolenko to a knee injury this past week. Sheffield United has shown signs of life in winning three of their last six league matches and securing a midweek FA Cup victory. 35-year-old Billy Sharp scored the FA Cup winner against Bristol City and has now scored a winning goal four times in four weeks for the Blades.  

Everton will be without injured striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin when they host Fulham at Goodison Park. The Cottagers will be hopeful of a result against a Toffee squad which has conceded 7 goals in their last two outings which includes a 5-4 FA Cup victory in a match that took 120 minutes to reach a decision versus Spurs during the week.  

Aston Villa travels to the south coast to face in-form Brighton. The Villans need just one point to surpass their point total from all last season. The Seagulls present a challenge, though, as they have conceded but one goal in a five-match unbeaten run.  

Leeds seeks a third consecutive league away win when they travel to London to face Arsenal at the Emirates. Arsenal have not lost a home match to a promoted side in ten seasons. Gunner supporters will be hoping to see more of Martin Odegaard following his two relief appearances since coming on loan from Real Madrid. Leeds is on a run of three wins in their last four league matches.  

Southampton hosts Wolverhampton, hoping for a repeat of their victory in an FA Cup fixture between the clubs played just three days earlier. The Saints have lost five consecutive league matches and have never lost six matches in a row. Takumi Minamino will be available for Saints after needing to sit out the FA Cup win. Wolves, winners just once in their last ten league matches, have struggled in attack and are the only Premier League team to score more goals from set pieces than from open play this season.  

Crystal Palace will again be without Wilfried Zaha when Burnley visits Selhurst Park. The Eagles have lost 17 of their past 19 games played without Zaha, failing to score in 15 of those losses. Burnley is currently 8 points clear of the relegation places despite a goals per match average which is lower than any Premier League team which has survived relegation. The Clarets have scored 14 goals in their 22 matches this season.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment: