Friday, October 21, 2022

Match Week 13 Preview

Manchester United can break into the top four with a win at Chelsea Saturday. The Red Devils have won six of their last eight league matches, losing just once over that stretch. Fourth place Chelsea has won four of their last five matches after a Wednesday draw at Brentford. The two clubs have produced draws in their last four meetings. Cristiano Ronaldo is excluded from the Manchester United squad for the match at Stamford Bridge after his unprofessional exit during the Red Devils’ win over Spurs.

Table leading Arsenal and their closest pursuer, Manchester City, are both on the South coast this weekend. The Gunners visit Southampton while Manchester City are at Brighton. The Gunners hold a four-point advantage over Manchester City in the title race.

A top six battle is on the cards when Newcastle visits Tottenham Hotspur Sunday. Third place Spurs have yet to defeat a top six club this season and received a reality check in a loss to Manchester United during the week. Newcastle will be another formidable challenge with the sixth place Magpies having won three of their past four matches.

Seventh place Liverpool will be looking for a third consecutive win when the Reds visit bottom of the table Nottingham Forest. Resurgent Liverpool is now four points from the Champions League places.

Struggling Leeds has captured all eight of its points this season at home and the Whites return to their friendly Elland Road confines to host Fulham Sunday. A home loss to the Cottagers in front of the Elland faithful would be highly damaging to the job security of Leeds’s American manager Jesse Marsch. His club has officially thrown its hat into the relegation ring after five losses in seven. Only goal differential has the Whites currently safe as they share the point total of 18th place Wolves. Fulham has surprised to date as the newly promoted side has remained in the top half of the table under Manager Marco Silver.

Another promoted side, Bournemouth has also achieved beyond expectations since parting ways with manager Scott Parker. The 12th place Cherries travel to West Ham this weekend to face a Hammer side which has disappointed for much of this season.

Crystal Palace will be seeking a third win in its last four matches when the Eagles visit Goodison Park to take on Frank Lampard’s Everton. Lampard had been receiving kudos for the improvement shown by Everton, particularly in defense, earlier this season. A lack of goal production has undercut that improvement and the Toffees now find themselves falling into another relegation fight as supporters are painfully reminded of last season’s close escape. Crystal Palace supporters like what they’re currently seeing as the Eagles’ younger players are beginning to produce and veteran Wilfried Zaha is flashing his top form.

The bottom of the table sees a face-off between two relegation contenders when Leicester visits Wolverhampton. Both clubs have earned their current standing in the table. Wolves have scored the fewest goals in the league. Leicester has allowed the most goals in the Premier League. 

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