Guaranteed dropped points for Liverpool’s top-4 rivals – Premier League Preview

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

The Premier League makes a pleasing return to our lives this weekend, with plenty of interesting action in addition to the Merseyside derby.

Another international break has been and gone, and we can focus on proper football again.

Liverpool will be looking to build on the impressive 1-1 draw at Man City with victory at home to Everton on Saturday—a showdown that makes us as nervous as it does excited.

While Chelsea appear to be running away with the league title, there is still plenty to sort at both ends of the table.

This weekend is likely to be a pivotal one in the top-four battle and the relegation fight, with 10 matches to look forward to in total.

Here’s a look at the best of the non-Liverpool upcoming action.

 

Another Day of Misery for Arsenal at the Emirates?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 4, 2017: Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger looks on as Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates the third goal during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The trip to West Brom a fortnight ago really felt as though it was tailor-made for an Arsenal win—the kind that ensure them a top-four finish every season.

Arsene Wenger’s side fully deserved their eventual 3-1 defeat, however, and it was no surprise to see Arsenal‘s manager under more scrutiny than ever after the game.

On Sunday, the north Londoners host Man City, which looks on a par with the Merseyside derby in the Game of the Weekend stakes.

This should be a match full of goals and entertainment, given the footballing philosophies of both Wenger and Pep Guardiola, and the result could be so crucial come May.

Another defeat for Arsenal does not bear thinking about for their overly emotional fanbase—it may finally put them out of the top-four reckoning—but given City’s attacking brilliance, a draw might be the best they can hope for.

 

Must-Not-Lose Game for Boro at Swansea

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 5, 2016: Middlesbrough's goalkeeper Víctor Valdés in action against Manchester City during the FA Premier League match at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Middlesbrough‘s season has fallen apart in 2017, having looked like finishing well clear of the relegation places at one point.

Aitor Karanka is now long gone, and they sit 19th in the Premier League and in serious danger of returning straight back to the Championship.

Boro visit Swansea City this weekend, knowing that victory would be huge and defeat unthinkable at the Liberty Stadium.

Paul Clement is doing a superb job in charge of the Welsh outfit, steering them away from what looked like almost certain relegation to three points clear of the bottom three.

They will be confident going into the game, especially when you consider their opponents have not won in the league since beating the Swans back in December, and it is hard to see anything other than a home win.

 

Spurs Set for Tricky Turf Moor Outing

A general view of Turf Moor, home of Burnley

Burnley‘s season has been bizarre, with the Clarets getting 29 points from their 14 home games, yet just three points on their travels.

Quite why they have been so different home and away is a tricky one to fathom, but the Turf Moor crowd certainly make it an unpleasant 90 minutes for visiting sides.

On Saturday, Tottenham are the latest high-profile team to try their luck, and without the injured Harry Kane, it will be intriguing to see how they fare.

Spurs keeping silencing their doubters every time their top-four credentials are questioned—they look the most likely team to finish second behind Chelsea currently—and three points against a gritty Burnley side would be huge.

Liverpool fans will be cheering on Sean Dyche’s men—the likes of United and Arsenal will be no different.

 

Can Tony Pulis Endear Himself to Liverpool Fans?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 9, 2016: West Bromwich Albion's head coach Tony Pulis during the Premier League match against Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Tony Pulis is one of the least likeable managers around, and it doesn’t help that his rugby-playing teams have had so much success against Liverpool in the past.

What cannot be denied, though, is that the West Brom manager is excellent at getting the very best out of average Premier League players.

He is doing just that at the Hawthorns right now, and the manner in which they outplayed Arsenal on March 18 summed up the job Pulis is doing.

Old Trafford is the destination for what is hopefully their latest upset this weekend, with the Baggies taking on United on Saturday afternoon.

Jose Mourinho’s side have really struggled to win games at home this season—they have drawn seven out of 14 matches—and further dropped points would be most welcome.

Come on Tony, you can do it!

 

South Coast Derby at St Mary’s

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 11, 2017: Southampton's Nathan Redmond in action against Liverpool during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match at St. Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It may not exactly be the most eye-catching derby showdown in living memory, particularly in comparison to the one taking place on Saturday, but Southampton vs. Bournemouth still has a certain spice to it.

With neither side having a huge amount to play for, it could easily end up being a game where both teams are effectively on the beach, but that is unlikely.

The two teams are currently level on points, albeit with 10th-placed Southampton having played two games fewer, but Bournemouth will be keen to leapfrog their local rivals—for the time being, at least.

After a real wobble, the Cherries have done well to pull clear of the drop zone, and they may fancy their chances at St Mary’s, with Southampton still a little flat after their League Cup final defeat to United.

This should make for pleasant, potentially hungover viewing, prior to the Arsenal-City clash.

 

Fixtures, UK TV Info & Predictions

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, December 19, 2016: Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates scoring the winning goal against Everton in injury time during the FA Premier League match, the 227th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Saturday

Liverpool vs. Everton – 12:30pm, Sky Sports 1
Prediction: 2-0

Burnley vs. Tottenham – 3pm
Prediction: 0-0

Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace – 3pm
Prediction: 3-1

Hull vs. West Ham – 3pm
Prediction: 2-1

Leicester vs. Stoke – 3pm
Prediction: 2-0

Man United vs. West Brom – 3pm
Prediction: 2-1

Watford vs. Sunderland – 3pm
Prediction: 1-1

Southampton vs. Bournemouth – 5:30pm, BT Sport 1
Prediction: 1-1

Sunday

Swansea vs. Middlesbrough – 1:30pm, Sky Sports 1
Prediction: 2-0

Arsenal vs. Man City – 4pm, Sky Sports 1
Prediction: 2-2

Fan Comments