Friday, April 29, 2022

Match Week 35 Preview: Magpies To Test Liverpool; Chelsea Visits Goodison As Everton Fights To Survive; Hammers and Gunners in Derby Battle; Can Spurs Find Attack Versus Foxes?; Bees Look To Swarm Manchester United; Rangnick To Be a Busy Man

Newcastle could provide a test for Liverpool when the Magpies host the Reds in Saturday’s early match. Liverpool, despite its deep roster, could feel the effects of a quick turnaround from Wednesday’s Champions League match. The Magpies, meanwhile, have won four consecutive league matches and have won their last six contests at St. James Park. Liverpool has captured 37 of their last 39 available points in the league to trail Manchester City by a point for the Premier League title.

Manchester City visits Leeds with the league leaders having lost just one away match all season. Leeds has moved five points from the relegation zone with a four-match unbeaten run under Manager Jesse Marsch.

Third place Chelsea can damage the managerial career of Chelsea legend Frank Lampard when the Blues face the now Everton manager at Goodison Park. Lampard’s Toffees are locked in a tight battle with Burnley for the final position of safety in the Premier League table. The Toffees fell into the relegation zone last Sunday with a loss to Liverpool while Burnley defeated Wolverhampton. Everton are two points back of the Clarets with a match in hand. Burnley can extend the lead to five points with a win at relegation bound Watford and a Toffee loss to Chelsea this weekend. Everton has registered seven of its eight total wins this season at home and will be counting on its supporters’ exhortations this weekend against a much more talented opponent in Chelsea.

Arsenal visits London Stadium to face West Ham with the Gunners holding a two-point advantage on Tottenham Hotspur for fourth place and Champions League qualification. The Gunners’ have scored seven goals in wins over Manchester United and Chelsea in the last two weeks. Arsenal had scored just once in the prior three matches, all losses which jeopardized the Gunners’ European aspirations. West Ham could miss European competition next season as the Hammers hold only a three-point advantage over eighth place Wolves for a Europa Conference League qualification berth. Wolves also have one additional match to play. The Hammers quest to win this year’s Europa League, and automatic Champions League qualification for next year, took a hit with their semifinal first leg loss to Eintracht Frankfurt Thursday.

Tottenham Hotspur has dropped five of six points in the last two weeks in its race with Arsenal to capture the fourth spot. Champions League qualification could be critically important for retaining Spurs Manager Antonio Conte who was rumored this week for a potential PSG appointment for next season. Despite a lineup featuring stars Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, the north London side failed to get a shot on target in its last two matches for next season. Spurs are home to Leicester Sunday. Leicester is treading water at 10th in the table, drawing three of their last five matches.

Manchester United’s chances for Champions League qualification became more remote as result of its 1-1 home draw with Chelsea on Thursday. The Red Devils trail fourth place Arsenal by five points while having played two matches more than the Gunners. Manchester United have won just one of their last six matches and Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored the goal versus Chelsea, appears the only player or even coach still interested this season. Current Manchester United interim manager Ralph Rangnick signed a deal this week to become the Austrian national coach while still retaining a consultancy role for Manchester United next season. The Red Devils host Brentford Monday. The Bees have been displaying nothing of the lethargy which has characterized Manchester United of late. Manager Thomas Frank and his promoted side have won on five occasions and drawn once in their last seven matches.

Wolves continue their pursuit of West Ham for the final European qualification berth in the table when they host Brighton. Wolverhampton and Brighton are two of the four lowest scoring clubs in the league.

Norwich Manger Dean Smith returns to face his former club when the Canaries visit Aston Villa. Smith has been unable to help the Canaries avoid relegation. After a brief flurry of success in January, Norwich has been buried at the bottom of the table since February. The Canaries have scored 47 fewer goals than their opponents this season. Steven Gerrard has not exactly delivered a sterling performance since replacing Smith as Aston Villa’s manager. Despite being backed in the January transfer market with the acquisitions of Philip Coutinho and Lucas Digne, Gerrard has Villa languishing in 15th position after losing four of its last five matches.

Despite an 18 better goal differential, 14th place Crystal Palace trails 13th place Southampton by two points in the table. The Eagles have only scored once in a current three match winless run and have won but twice in 21 topflight visits to Southampton. The Saints, meanwhile, have won only one of their last nine matches across all competitions.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment: