Friday, November 11, 2022

Match Week 16 Preview: Chelsea Faces Top Four Newcastle; Gunners Set Sights On Wolves; Spurs Tries To Get Back On Track; Next Man Up At Southampton; Forest Home To Eagles

Chelsea hasn’t won in four consecutive matches, has lost its last two contests and has only scored twice during its winless run. Graham Potter’s crew have tumbled from the top four to a current seventh place position in the table. The Blues head to Newcastle Saturday to face a club on a more positive trajectory. The Magpies have risen to third in the table after winning four consecutive matches and five of their last seven. It could be time for Newcastle to end a run of four straight league defeats to Chelsea.

League leading Arsenal has scored 23 more goals this season than the relegation bound Wolverhampton. That gap should increase when the Gunners visit Molineux Stadium Saturday.

Brentford have not won at Manchester City since 1937 as the Bees approach a daunting task at the home of the second place Citizens. The Bees have yet to win on the road this season.

Tottenham Hotspur has lost three of four matches as it prepares to host Leeds. The recent poor run of form by the north London side has them holding onto the final Champions League qualification slot by just three points over Manchester United. Spurs Manager Antonio Conte should have more weapons at his disposal this weekend as Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski appear set to return from injury. Leeds has won back-to-back matches to put three points between Manager Jesse Marsch’s side and the drop zone.

Manchester United will also be in London this weekend as the Red Devils visit Craven Cottage to take on Fulham. The Cottagers lost in heartbreaking fashion on a late penalty versus Manchester City last weekend and will be eager to take out that frustration on the other Manchester club. United are coming off a surprising two goal loss to Aston Villa which was playing its first match under Unai Emery.

Villa heads to the south coast Sunday to face Brighton. The Seagulls have found their scoring touch in back-to-back victories where they have scored seven goals in total.

Liverpool are home to a Southampton side playing its first league match under Manager Nathan Jones as the Saints have wasted little time in replacing former manager Ralph Hasenhuttl who was sacked last week. Jones is taking a big step up to his first Premier League job. The Welshman had been managing Luton Town in the English Championship division. He faces a daunting task at Anfield where the Saints have conceded 16 goals and scored none in losing on their last five league visits to Liverpool.

Liverpool is currently outside the European places based on the club’s current eight place standing but will hope to build on its impressive win at Spurs last week.

Bournemouth is just a point above Southampton as the Cherries hover just outside the drop zone after suffering four straight losses. The Cherries will host Everton which is in a similar position just a point better than Bournemouth. Everton has severe problems scoring with only relegation dwellers Wolverhampton and Nottingham Forest having scored fewer goals than the Toffees. The two clubs met earlier this week in the Carabao Cup with Bournemouth emerging with a 4-1 victory.

Nottingham Forest will try to lift itself off the bottom of the table when Crystal Palace visits the City Ground. Palace has moved into the top half of the table after winning three of its last four matches. The Eagles are getting performances from some of their young stars such as Eberichi Eze and Michael Olise to ease some of the burden on Wilfried Zaha.

West Ham lost at home to the Eagles last week and the Hammers are at London Stadium again this weekend to face Leicester. The two clubs are now level on points after a run of three wins in four by the Foxes. Leicester’s defense has turned around remarkably. The Foxes have conceded only three goals in their last seven matches after shipping 22 goals in the first seven games of the season.

Carabao Cup

The Carabao Cup concluded its third round during the week. Manchester United reversed its result versus Aston Villa in league action just days earlier with a 4-2 victory to move on in the tournament. Arsenal surprisingly was bounced out of the competition by Brighton in a 3-1 final as the Seagulls continue to find the net with regularity. Chelsea also exited the tournament in a 2-0 loss to Manchester City. Liverpool barely survived to the next round by wining on penalties versus Derby County after fielding a largely unrecognizable line-up. West Ham exited on penalties to Blackburn Rovers while Nottingham Forest overcame a 75th minute red card to hold onto a shocking 2-0 result over Spurs. Other Premier League clubs advancing to the next round included Bournemouth, Leicester, Wolves, Southampton and Newcastle. Bournemouth and Wolves eliminated Premier League rivals Everton and Leeds, respectively. The Cup resumes in December with Round of Sixteen matches highlighted by an attractive Liverpool versus Manchester City matchup.

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