Friday, December 29, 2023

Premier League Preview Match Week 20

No rest for the weary as the Premier League embarks on the second half of its season this Saturday. Match Week 20 could see the first occupancy change in the relegation zone since Everton made its escape in early December. Luton Town is a point behind Everton, two points below Nottingham Forest, as the Hatters prepare to host Chelsea at Kenilworth Road. Chelsea has proven to be capable of any kind of performance and the Blues’ young roster could be affected by the raucous atmosphere at the Hatters’ tiny venue.

Everton will try to avoid a third consecutive defeat when the Toffees travel to Wolverhampton. Nottingham Forest will host Manchester United as Nuno Espirito Santo seeks his first win at the City Ground as the manager of the Tricky Trees.

The Red Devils surprised on the weekend with their combativeness in coming back against a good Aston Villa side. Was the win at Old Trafford an anomaly or a sign of better things to come?

Tottenham Hotspur limps back to London after being thrashed at Brighton. Things do not get any easier as Manager Ange Postecoglou will be without suspended winger Dejan Kulusevski when his club hosts streaking Bournemouth on Sunday. The two clubs directly in front of Spurs in the table both face relegation zone opposition this weekend.

Aston Villa is home to Burnley while Manchester City hosts Sheffield United. Arsenal, meanwhile, will try to get back on track with a London derby win at Fulham.

Supporters will have to wait until Tuesday for one of the more intriguing matches of Match Week 20 when Brighton can leapfrog West Ham into the top six if the Seagulls win at London Stadium. Brighton had been inconsistent and lackluster in recent weeks until its surprising domination of Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday. West Ham, meanwhile, has impressed in winning six of its last eight league matches to rise from 12th to 6th in the Premier League table, three points above the Seagulls.

The Premier League leader, Liverpool, plays host to struggling Newcastle at Anfield on Monday. Liverpool has not lost at home all season. Newcastle has lost five of its last six league matches.

Two clubs who could soon find themselves in the relegation fight square off on Saturday when Brentford visits Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace. The Bees are spiraling, dropping four consecutive matches and six of seven. Brentford has scored only three goals in those six losses as an injury to forward Bryan Mbeumo has proved devastating for a side already missing elite striker Ivan Toney to suspension. Crystal Palace has not won since November 4th. The Eagles are three points above the relegation line with Brentford just a point above 15th place Palace.

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