Premier League Preview

Another weekend of Premier League football is right round the corner, as we enter the final stages of the season.

With fixtures coming thick and fast, every team will look to get that last big push in order to achieve their aims this season.

 

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AFC Bournemouth VS Chelsea

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Chelsea took a huge step towards lifting the Premier League trophy in midweek with a 2-1 win over Manchester City. That win kept Antonio Conte’s men seven points clear of nearest challengers Tottenham Hotspur.

Chelsea’s lead could be cut down to four points if Spurs win their game earlier on in the day.

Bournemouth will be encouraged by the fact that they picked up a very good away point at Anfield this past week.

Eddie Howe’s men are currently seven points clear of the relegation zone, still hoping they could potentially make into the top ten.

They are currently unbeaten in their last five games.

Team News

Victor Moses could be available to return for Chelsea after missing the last two games with a toe injury.

Ryan Fraser comes back into contention for a starting place after his substitute appearance at Liverpool, but Andrew Surman is out with a knee problem.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Watford

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Spurs have the lunchtime kickoff on Saturday and will look to narrow the gap between them and Chelsea to four points until Chelsea play later on in the day.

In midweek, Pochettino’s men pulled off a remarkable comeback, scoring three goals in nine minutes to snatch the points away from Swansea.

Tottenham come into this game having won their last five in the league.

Watford look to be steering clear of that relegation zone, after back to back wins against West Brom and Sunderland and are now nine points clear of the drop zone.

Watford are now in a position where finishing inside the top ten is a real possibility.

Team News

Espanyol loan goalkeeper Pau Lopez could make his Tottenham debut if Hugo Lloris fails to shake off a virus and Michel Vorm cannot recover from knee trouble.

Watford will be forced into changes as Kaboul has a hamstring injury, Prodl is recovering from a rib injury and Britos is suspended.

Stoke City vs Liverpool

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Liverpool’s top four aspirations will be put to the test against a Stoke City side who are currently in a bad patch of form. Klopp’s side are winless in their last five away league games.

Liverpool will be without Sadio Mane, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season and they may have to deal with the absence of Phillipe Coutinho through illness. Liverpool are currently in 3rd place, having played more games than those around them, so they will be looking to put to the bed the remaining fixtures.

Stoke come into this game, having lost their last three games but will be positive of the fact that they are not embroiled in the relegation battle. However, another couple of bad results and results from elsewhere could see them slip.

Last time these two teams met in the league, Liverpool ran out 4-1 winners.

Team News

Xherdan Shaqiri could return after a two-month injury lay-off and Stoke are hopeful that Jon Walters will be available after missing the defeat to Burnley with concussion.

As mentioned Mane is out, Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson are also unavailable. Daniel Sturridge may be line for a start after being an unused substitute against Bournemouth on Wednesday.

West Ham United vs Swansea City

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This is a very intriguing clash in which a win for either side could change the relegation battle down at the bottom of the table. There are five points separating the two sides, but a win for Swansea could see that cut down to two.

West Ham’s recent form has led them slip down to 15th and will look to beat Swansea at the London Stadium, to ease any relegation fears that they may have. The Hammers have lost their last five games in the league.

Swansea have shown signs of slight improvement under Paul Clement but their midweek collapse against Spurs, definitely posed more questions than answers. The result in midweek was the third defeat in four games.

Team News

Defenders Aaron Cresswell, Winston Reid and Angelo Ogbonna and midfielder Pedro Obiang are out injured for West Ham.

Top scorer Fernando Llorente could return for Swansea after missing the last two games with an ankle problem.

Crystal Palace vs Arsenal

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This is a game pitting two different teams, with two different ambitions but both have an air of worry surrounding their club.

With the recent Wenger contract saga going on at Arsenal, their fans have been left in a loop and they have no clarity on whether he will sign a new deal. This has led to fights within certain sectors of their fan base.

Arsenal are currently 5th on goal difference and are now in a fight to get into the top four. They do however have two games in hand over Liverpool, in which they are 6 points behind.

Crystal Palace will be worried because they are in a relegation battle, however a win on Monday will ease their worries. Palace are in a good spell of form in which they have only lost two of their last six games.

Team News

Crystal Palace will be without midfielder Yohan Cabaye after he was substituted at half-time against Southampton with a calf strain.

Laurent Koscielny remains absent for Arsenal as does Lucas Perez, but Francis Coquelin returns after missing the midweek win due to personal matters.

Manchester City Vs Hull City

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Manchester City will be looking to keep their top four challenge on track, as they entertain Hull City at home in the traditional 3pm kickoff on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola’s men have won just one in their last six in all competitions and the defeat midweek against Chelsea all but ended their title hopes. Whilst City remain in 4th, they will be wary of the fact that teams around them have a game in hand.

Hull have moved out of the relegation zone after earning three wins in their last four games.

The Tigers have beaten West Ham and Middlesbrough in the last week and have taken 17 points from 11 games since Marco Silva’s appointment in early January.

Team News

Gabriel Jesus has returned to training for Man City but will not be involved this weekend.

Hull’s Harry Maguire has been ruled out with a knock but striker Abel Hernandez is available after a dead leg.

Sunderland vs Manchester United

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Another team competing for that top four place is Manchester United but they will have to start picking up wins quick if they want to achieve their target.

Although they are unbeaten in 20 games, a significant part of that run has been the amount of draw United have had.  Their top four challenge has halted in recent weeks with Jose’s men drawing three of their last four.

Sunderland are in trouble at the bottom of the table, with them being ten points off safety with 8 games to go.

Sunderland can take some knowledge in knowing that this is the point of the season, where they rise to the occasion. The Black Cats have a good record of avoiding the drop when it seemed likely they will go down.

Team News

Manchester United will be without Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young. Captain Rooney missed the midweek clash against Everton with ankle issues, while Young limped off with an apparent groin injury.

Victor Anichebe is in contention to make his first Sunderland start of the year after coming on as a substitute against Leicester in midweek.

Lee Cattermole is also expected to feature, but defender John O’Shea (personal reasons) is unavailable and Jan Kirchhoff, Paddy McNair and Duncan Watmore remain sidelined.

Everton vs Leicester City

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The second Super Sunday fixture sees Everton who are trying to achieve top 4, take on a resurgent Leicester City side.

The Foxes have been revitalised since the appointment of Craig Shakespeare, who could equal the Premier League record for consecutive wins from the start of his managerial career in the competition.

Everton will be seething at the fact they conceded late on against Manchester United on Tuesday. That win would have made a big statement in their push for top four.

The Toffees are currently in 7th place, nine points off 4th place.

Team News

Ashley Williams is suspended for Everton after being sent off in the draw with Manchester United.

Leicester will be without Wes Morgan and Nampalys Mendy .

West Brom vs Southampton

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Despite their recent defeat to Watford, West Brom will be safe in knowing that they won’t be dragged into the relegation battle this season.

Still harboring a top 8 finish, results like the 3-1 win over Arsenal will boost their confidence in achieving their aim.

Southampton come into this game having beaten Crystal Palace 3-1 at home on Wednesday.

The Saints are in 9th place with two games in hand over the Baggies, so a win for Southampton will narrow the gap with games in hand.

Team News

West Brom could have a fully-fit squad to choose from.

Matt Phillips is in contention to start after making his return from injury as a substitute against Watford.

While several Saints players face late fitness tests, the visitors are definitely without defenders Matt Targett and Virgil van Dijk, goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and striker Charlie Austin.

Middlesbrough vs Burnley

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An interesting clash awaits at the Riverside as struggling Middlesbrough take on Burnley who are still searching for an away win this season.

With their recent defeat to Hull, Boro are now 19th, seven points from safety with eight games remaining.

Middlesbrough have not won a league game since December 17 and are the lowest scorers in the division with 22 goals in 30 games.

Burnley come into this game on the back of a 1-0 win over Stoke which boosted their survival hopes. The win was Burnley’s first since the start of February and moves them seven points clear of the relegation zone.

Team News

Fabio will not feature after suffering a head injury in the 0-0 draw with Swansea last weekend

Steven Defour faces a fitness test after suffering a blow to the knee in Tuesday’s victory over Stoke, a match that had seen the 28-year-old make his first start in more than two months after a hamstring injury.

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