Klopp looks for a favour from post-Wagner Huddersfield – Premier League Weekend Preview

18 January 2019


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A heavyweight clash headlines the weekend Premier League fixtures, while Jurgen Klopp will hope Huddersfield can dent Man City‘s title bid.


Liverpool got back to winning ways with a hard-earned 1-0 win away to Brighton last Saturday, as they remain four points clear of City.

The Reds host Crystal Palace this weekend, with the Eagles’ 3-2 win at the Etihad last month a word of warning, should complacency threaten to creep in.

Away from Liverpool, there are nine more intriguing matches to look forward to—some more than others—as the season slowly edges towards its business end.

Here’s a look at the rest of the action on offer.

 

Wolves vs. Leicester – Saturday, 12:30pm – Sky Sports Main Event

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Friday, December 21, 2018: Wolverhampton Wanderers' captain Conor Coady during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The weekend doesn’t exactly start with a bang, as Wolves host Leicester in a battle between two sides looking to finish seventh.

Wolves have quietly slipped to 11th in the table after such a good start to the season, losing their last two games in the league.

Leicester, meanwhile, have become a very unpredictable outfit, winning against City and Chelsea but being beaten at home by Southampton last weekend.

A draw looks probable and might suit both teams.

Prediction: Wolves 1-1 Leicester

 

Bournemouth vs. West Ham – Saturday , 3pm

Bournemouth's Nathaniel Clyne (Image: Mark Kerton/PA Wire. )

This is another clash between two teams not remotely relegation-threatened and for whom European football next season is a possibility.

Bournemouth are without a league win since beating Brighton on December 22, with Eddie Howe’s men now 12th, slightly disappointingly.

Nathaniel Clyne has made a solid start after joining on loan from Liverpool, though.

West Ham will be full of confidence after their 1-0 win over Arsenal, however, and they will believe they can take advantage of their opponents’ slump.

Prediction: Bournemouth 1-2 West Ham

 

Man United vs. Brighton – Saturday, 3pm

It’s never nice to say kind things about Man United, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserves credit for six victories in a row since replacing Jose Mourinho.

That being said, if he gets the job permanently it will be great news for United’s rivals, with the Norwegian surely benefiting from that new manager ‘bounce’ before an inevitable dip occurs.

Liverpool’s rivals are actually playing attacking football again, though, getting the best out of a number of talented players, in particular Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford.

Brighton are a good side, but they won’t get anything at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Prediction: Man United 2-0 Brighton

 

Newcastle vs. Cardiff – Saturday, 3pm

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Boxing Day, Wednesday, December 26, 2018: Newcastle United's manager Rafael Benitez waves as the Liverpool supporters sing his name after during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This is a huge game in the relegation fight, as Rafa Benitez looks to steer his Newcastle team out of the drop zone.

The Magpies find themselves one point and one place behind Cardiff ahead of the weekend visit of the Bluebirds, highlighting the importance of the fixture.

A home defeat for Newcastle would be an almighty blow, with a return to the Championship suddenly seeming like a distinct possibility.

In true Benitez fashion, though, he will likely grind out a win, no doubt resulting in the latest bizarre Neil Warnock press conference.

Prediction: Newcastle 2-1 Cardiff

 

Southampton vs. Everton – Saturday, 3pm

Southampton's Danny Ings during the Premier League match at St Mary's, Southampton (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images)

Everton got back to winning ways in the league with a 2-0 triumph over Bournemouth last Sunday, stopping the post-Divock Origi rot in the process.

They head to Southampton this weekend, with Ralph Hasenhuttl continuing to turn things around at St Mary’s.

Their aforementioned 2-1 win at Leicester was a big result and they will believe another victory can be secured against an Everton side with only two away wins to their name this season.

It could be an entertaining match, with goals aplenty.

Prediction: Southampton 2-2 Everton

 

Watford vs. Burnley – Saturday, 3pm

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Thursday, August 16, 2018: Burnley's Jack Cork celebrates scoring the only goal to seal a 1-0 extra-time victory during the UEFA Europa League Third Qualifying Round 2nd Leg match between Burnley FC and ?stanbul Ba?ak?ehir at Turf Moor. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Watford are the strongest contenders to finish seventh, not least because they are the current occupants of that position.

They have impressed throughout the campaign and have only lost once in their last eight outings, in all competitions.

Burnley may be slowly pulling clear of the relegation zone after some good form of their own, but it is hard to see them troubling the Hornets too much at Vicarage Road.

They may be tricky to face at Turf Moor, but on their travels they have lost seven out of 11 games.

Prediction: Watford 2-0 Burnley

 

Arsenal vs. Chelsea – Saturday, 5:30pm – BT Sport 1

CARDIFF, WALES - Sunday, September 2, 2018: Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring the second goal with team-mates during the FA Premier League match between Cardiff City FC and Arsenal FC at the Cardiff City Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A box office clash is on offer on Saturday evening, with Arsenal and Chelsea locking horns in a fascinating London derby.

The Gunners’ long unbeaten run seems a lifetime ago now and their defeat away to West Ham was their third in six league games.

With a six-point gap separating them and fourth-place Chelsea, defeat would be fatal as they look to return to the Champions League in 2019/20.

The Blues aren’t exactly firing on all cylinders at the moment, but they shouldn’t lose at the Emirates.

Prediction: Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea

 

Huddersfield vs. Man City – Sunday 1:30pm – Sky Sports Main Event

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 26, 2017: Huddersfield Town's manager David Wagner before the FA Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Southampton at the John Smith's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp’s great friend David Wagner’s superb reign at Huddersfield has come to an end, following his exit on Monday.

Taking charge for the time being is former Terriers captain Mark Hudson, who has the unenviable task of taking on champions Man City on Sunday.

It really is hard to see Huddersfield getting anything from the game, despite being at home, with the difference in quality on show enormous.

If the hosts get anything, it will be a wonderful bonus for Liverpool in the title race, having hopefully seen off Palace the day before.

Prediction: Huddersfield 0-3 Man City

 

Fulham vs. Tottenham – Sunday 4pm – Sky Sports Main Event

Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon (left) celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game against Hull City

The weekend action concludes with a less high-profile London derby, as struggling Fulham host a Tottenham side with problems of their own.

Spurs’ 1-0 defeat to United may have signalled the end of their title hopes, and the loss of Harry Kane to injury and Son Heung-min to Asia Cup duty could further curtail their progress.

They should still be too strong for a Fulham team five points adrift of safety, but the Craven Cottage crowd will sense an upset under the lights.

It won’t be plain sailing, but Spurs will get over the line.

Prediction: Fulham 1-2 Tottenham

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