Friday, February 11, 2022

Match Week 25 Preview: Saints Visit Devils; Wolves Descend on London; Manchester City Looks To Add To 43 Goal Advantage on Norwich; Lampard Needs Rebound Versus Leeds; Bees Face Eagles in Derby

Manchester United tries to right the ship when it hosts Southampton Saturday. Manchester United headlines have turned to the players’ reported discontent with manager Ralf Rangnick’s training methods and the qualifications of American assistant coach Chris Armas.

Southampton, meanwhile, has been taking care of business under Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl who celebrated his 500th
match in charge of Southampton during the week. The Saints have drawn with Manchester City and defeated Spurs in their last two matches and the club has improved six places in the table after losing just once in its last seven matches.

Tottenham Hotspur will try to avoid a second consecutive home loss when Spurs host Wolverhampton. A porous Spurs defense could have an easier time against a poor Wolves attack. Wolves, however, have managed three consecutive league road wins by employing one of the league’s best defenses. No team has conceded fewer away goals this season than Manager Bruno Lage’s tenacious defenders.

Norwich is unbeaten in its last four matches across all competitions but faces a huge challenge when it hosts Manchester City. Having played just one more match than the Canaries, the defending league champions have scored a league high 57 goals this season versus an anemic 14 scores by Norwich’s league worst attack.

Liverpool tries to keep its tenuous title hopes alive when the Reds visit Burnley.

Liverpool is nine points behind Manchester City but has a match in hand versus the table leaders. Burnley is at the bottom of the table but is just four points below Newcastle which currently holds the last safe position in the table. The Clarets have also played two fewer matches than the Magpies.

Newcastle, home to Aston Villa this weekend, has leveraged a current four match unbeaten run to safety. The Villains are unbeaten in three consecutive matches as Manager Steven Gerrard’s men are a point outside the top half of the table.

West Ham will visit Leicester as the Hammers try to protect their current top four standing. Leicester is struggling mightily with both injuries and performance problems in its back line as the Foxes have fallen to 14th in the league table. Defensive midfielder Wilfred Ndidi was forced by injuries to be employed as a center back in the Foxes’ Thursday loss to Liverpool.

Everton manager Frank Lampard needs to quickly dust himself off after a debilitating loss to Newcastle in his first league match in charge of the Toffees. Everton’s fourth consecutive loss puts the club just two points from the relegation zone. Leeds are four points ahead of Everton and appear re-energized in attack after early season struggles. The Whites have scored three goals in three of their last four matches.

Watford has not won since November as the Hornets welcome Brighton to Vicarage Road. The club has lost eight of ten matches since that victory and new manager Roy Hodgson has stepped in to try to pick up the pieces of a seemingly shattered season. Brighton has won but twice since September but has maintained a position in the top half of the table by drawing 12 of their last 17 matches.

Brentford will try to end a five-match unbeaten run when the Bees host a London derby versus Crystal Palace. The Bees have been stung for 14 goals over that stretch while scoring just three times. Crystal Palace are just two points above Brentford in the table and have been poor on the road this season, winning just one of 11 matches away from Selhurst Park.

Chelsea’s originally scheduled match versus Arsenal will be rescheduled as the Blues compete Saturday for the Club World Club championship versus Brazilian club Palmeiras. 

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