Friday, February 19, 2021

Matchweek 25 Preview: Merseyside Derby; Gunners Aim at Citizens; Moyes To Finally Hammer Jose?; Seagulls and Eagles; Fulham Needs Sharp Performance Versus Blades

This weekend’s Merseyside derby will see Liverpool try to break their three-match losing run at Anfield when they host Everton. Liverpool is unbeaten in 23 matches across all competitions versus the Toffees, their longest such streak against any opponent in club history. Everton will be looking to stay unbeaten for an eighth consecutive league away match and hope to have striker Dominic Calver-Lewin available for duty. Liverpool, losers of 5 of their last 8 league matches, will look to build on this week’s Champions League win over RB Leipzig.


Manchester City, looking invincible of late, will look to extend its 17-match winning run across all competitions when they face Arsenal at the Emirates. Arsenal have lost their last 7 matches against the citizens, the second longest such streak against any club in Arsenal’s history, just short of an 8-game losing streak to Leeds in the 1970’s. 

West Ham, having already accumulated more points than they did in the entirety of last season, will host Tottenham Hotspur in a London derby. Hammer manager David Moyes will attempt to win for the first time against a Jose Mourinho managed club.  This should present a prime opportunity for Moyes to end that streak against a Spurs team which has lost 4 of its last 5 league matches. Spurs enter the match six points behind West Ham in the table.  

Old Trafford will be an intimidating venue when Newcastle plays at Manchester United. Newcastle has one but once in the last 33 matches at the historic home of the Red Devils. Newcastle manager Steve Bruce, meanwhile, has garnered just 1 of 33 points available when he has managed at Old Trafford. 

Only Manchester United has won more matches against Southampton than Chelsea who will be paying the Saints a visit this weekend. The Saints are on a 6-match losing run in the league, the longest in Southampton history. Chelsea is undefeated in five matches under manager Thomas Tuchel and has won four consecutive matches to return to the top-four.  

Leicester will travel to Aston Villa to face a Villa squad which has been inconsistent in losing 4 of their last 8 matches. Fox manager Brandon Rogers has won all five previous league matches he has managed against Aston Villa. 

Wolves will look to achieve back-to-back wins in the league for the first time since October when they host Leeds on Friday. Leeds is one position above Wolves in the table and have won 6 their 12 road matches this season. Wolves have won 2 of their last 3 matches following an 8-match winless run.  

The league’s strangest rivalry is renewed on Monday when south London based Crystal Place travels to Brighton on the south coast. The two teams and their fan bases have an intense dislike for each other. Brighton will move ahead of Crystal Place in the table on points differential with a win and the Seagulls will be looking to record a fourth consecutive home clean sheet. The Eagles will be missing primary scoring threat Wilfried Zaha.


Burnley, hoping to further separate itself from the relegation scrap, will have a prime opportunity at home versus 19th in the table West Bromwich Albion. Burnley have scored one less goal than West Brom but have conceded 25 fewer goals than the Baggies. Injured midfielders Johan Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady will miss the match for the Clarets. West Brom, 3 points behind Burnley in the table when Sam Allardyce was appointed manager, are now 14 points behind the Clarets.  

Fulham needs a sharp performance against Sheffield United to win but their fourth match of the season and further their hopes of escaping relegation. A victory could move the Cottagers within three points of Newcastle for the final safe position in the table. A win by Sheffield United could lift them from the bottom of the table for the first time since week 7.  

Tuesday will see a make-up of an originally scheduled Matchweek 18 contest between Leeds and Southampton. The Saints will be praying for a first win in seven matches.


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