Friday, March 19, 2021

Matchweek 29 Preview: Key Relegation Matches; London Derby; Can Jose Spur Tottenham?

 The Premier League plays a reduced schedule this weekend due to the FA Cup quarterfinal matches. Weekend league action begins with Leeds going to London Friday to face Fulham. Leeds is comfortably situated mid-table but have lost four of their last six matches and Marco Bielsa’s normally free flowing attack has failed to score in the Whites’ last three matches. Every match now has heightened importance for Fulham as each point achieved could mean the difference between survival and relegation for the Cottagers. Fulham has lost two of its last three matches as the club remains two points behind Newcastle and safety entering the weekend.  

Newcastle and Brighton are the two clubs most at risk to be overtaken by the Cottagers in the table and the Magpies and Seagulls face each other on the south coast Saturday in a match with major survival implications. Brighton is one point ahead of Newcastle, three points above Fulham, after the Seagulls ended a three-match losing skid with a victory over Southampton last week. Newcastle has clawed and scratched its way to three consecutive draws as the club struggles to overcome injuries to its top scoring threats. 

Fifth place West Ham continues its bid for a European place when the Hammers host Arsenal in a London derby on Sunday. The Hammers will be trying to win a fourth consecutive league home match for the first time in 19 years. Arsenal is five points from a top six berth as the inconsistent Gunners sit 10th in the table.


Spurs head to Aston Villa on the heels of being tossed out of the Europa League and losing their north London derby to Arsenal last weekend. Jose Mourinho went on quite the rant after the Europa League loss about a worrying lack of desire by his team. Still, Tottenham are but a point from the top six in the league title so European qualification remains a possibility if the ship can be righted. Aston Villa are 4 points behind Spurs in the table though the Villans hold a match in hand. Villa has struggled of late, scoring just 3 goals in 6 matches.

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