Rival clashes can hand Liverpool boost in top-4 battle – Premier League Preview

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Another fascinating round of Premier League action awaits us this weekend, with Sunday offering up a couple of crackers that could aid Liverpool.

The Reds suffered their joint-heaviest defeat in Premier League history last Saturday, losing 5-0 at Man City, due mainly to Sadio Mane‘s unfortunate sending off.

The Reds need to bounce back this weekend when they host Burnley, having also drawn with Sevilla in midweek, with Sean Dyche’s side sure to be a tough opponent.

Elsewhere in Gameweek 4, Man United dropped points after a 2-2 draw at Stoke City, Tottenham dispatched of Everton 3-0 at Goodison Park and Crystal Palace‘s narrow defeat at Burnley saw Frank de Boer relieved of his duties.

Arsenal and Chelsea saw off Bournemouth and Leicester City, respectively, and there were also wins for newly promoted pair Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle United.

There are 10 more matches to look forward to over the next three days—here’s the best of the action.

 

Another Test For Arsenal at Stamford Bridge

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 13, 2016: Arsenal's goalkeeper Petr Cech in action against Everton during the FA Premier League match at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Arsenal‘s shocking performance at Anfield is still fresh in the memory, and another big test of their character is on the horizon as they visit Chelsea on Sunday.

The Gunners may have won comfortably at home to Bournemouth last weekend, but these are the games Arsene Wenger continues to fall short in.

Huge improvements are needed if they are to get anything from their trip to Stamford Bridge—another resounding defeat will make for almost unrivalled negativity.

Chelsea have recovered impressively after defeat to Burnley on the opening weekend, winning three league games on the bounce and looking like reigning champions again.

On paper, you would expect the hosts to have too much for their unpredictable opponents, but you feel Arsenal have to pick up a win away to a rival sooner or later.

Could this be the one?

 

The ‘Win-Win Derby’ For Liverpool Fans

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 4, 2016: Everton's Leighton Baines in action against Henrik Mkhitaryan of Manchester United during the FA Premier League match at Goodison Park. (Pic by Gavin Trafford/Propaganda)

Twice a season, Liverpool supporters can sit back and watch Man United face Everton and be content whatever the outcome.

It is guaranteed that at least one will drop points, and should it be a draw, the Reds stand a chance of making ground on both.

Liverpool’s two biggest rivals meet at Old Trafford this weekend, with Everton currently failing miserably to conquer a difficult run of fixtures.

Comprehensive defeats to Chelsea and Tottenham were preceded by a draw at Man City with a man extra for much of the game, and doubts are creeping in about Ronald Koeman.

United, meanwhile slipped up for the first time this season at Stoke, with their first tricky game of note seeing them fall short.

Jose Mourinho’s side should have too much for Everton on Sunday, but if the visitors could snatch a point, that would be just perfect.

 

Routine Wins For Man City & Spurs?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 9, 2017: Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus celebrates scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by Don Jackson-Wyatt/Propaganda)

Man City may have had it easy against 10-man Liverpool, but they still showed exactly why they are the bookies’ favourites to win the title this season.

The attacking talent they have is frightening, from the world-class creativity of Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva to the ruthlessness of Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus.

This weekend sees Pep Guardiola and his players visit a reinvigorated, unbeaten Watford side under Marco Silva, so they won’t have it all their own way.

That said, their superiority should shine through at Vicarage Road, assuming they don’t defend like the Reds did there last month.

City’s rivals will be willing Watford on—if they could get in front and frustrate the visitors, you never know.

 

How Will Hodgson Fare in Return to Management?

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 29, 2011: West Bromwich Albion's manager Roy Hodgson before the Premiership match against Liverpool at The Hawthorns. (Pic by Vegard Grott/Propaganda)

Roy Hodgson has been a figure of ridicule for years now, following abysmal reigns as manager of Liverpool and England.

Somehow, though, he still manages to find himself work, with Crystal Palace his latest job, following the unjust sacking of De Boer.

It is one of the least inspiring appointments imaginable, but if you can say one thing about Hodgson, it is that he knows how to avoid relegation.

Chances are he will beat the drop—not exactly an earth-shattering achievement, given some of the quality in Palace’s ranks—but the Eagles could have targeted someone so much better.

First up for him is the visit of Southampton on Saturday lunchtime in front of the Sky cameras—don’t expect a classic.

 

Fixtures, UK TV Info & Predictions

Brighton & Hove Albion's Glenn Murray (right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Sky Bet Championship match at Villa Park, Birmingham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 7, 2017. See PA story: SOCCER Villa. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

Friday

Bournemouth vs. Brighton – 8pm, Sky Sports Main Event
Prediction: 2-1

Saturday

Crystal Palace vs. Southampton – 12:30pm, Sky Sports Main Event
Prediction: 1-1

Huddersfield vs. Leicester – 3pm
Prediction: 2-2

Liverpool vs. Burnley – 3pm
Prediction: 2-1

Newcastle vs. Stoke – 3pm
Prediction: 1-1

Watford vs. Man City – 3pm
Prediction: 1-2

West Brom vs. West Ham – 3pm
Prediction: 1-0

Tottenham vs. Swansea – 5:30pm, BT Sport 1
Prediction: 2-0

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 3, 2016: Chelsea's Eden Hazard celebrates scoring the third goal against Manchester City during the FA Premier League match at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by Gavin Trafford/Propaganda)

Sunday

Chelsea vs. Arsenal – 1:30pm, Sky Sports Main Event
Prediction: 2-1

Man United vs. Everton – 4pm, Sky Sports Main Event
Prediction: 2-1

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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