February 8, 2019

Premier League Match Previews – 9th February Saturday

Fulham v Man United

Manchester United recently cruised past Arsenal in the fifth place of the Premier League standings. With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men currently enjoying 10 unbeaten runs including 9 magnificent victories and a draw, they’re now just two points behind Chelsea in the fourth place. The Red Devils have the perfect opportunity to overtake the Blues in the table and make their return into the Premier League’s top four for the first time since August when they take on strugglers Fulham on Saturday.

Fulham managed to give themselves a flicker of hope when they bagged the 4-2 victory against Brighton at the end of January, but they were plunged right back into the bottom when they lost 2-0 to Crystal Palace over the weekend. It was Fulham’s fifth beating in their previous 5 games in all competitions, and each of which saw Claudio Ranieri’s men concede at least two goals. The Cottagers are currently in the 19th position in the league table with just 7 points below safety. Things would be much tougher for them since they will be facing a Manchester United side who are remarkably making their comeback in the Premier League.

Fulham have by far the weakest defensive record in the Premier League which the Red Devils can use to their advantage. Manchester United definitely have the power to burn holes in Fulham’s defense. With Solskjaer’s guidance, the Red Devils definitely improved their record on the road, winning all 4 of their trips. With United’s defensive issues, Fulham might have a slim chance of coming out victorious especially since they were able to score in  of their previous 7 Premier League matches and in 9 of their 12 fixtures at home so far this season.

With Manchester United close to reaching a top four finish, and Fulham wanting to remain in the English top flight, both sides will be desperate to bag the victory on Saturday.  

Liverpool v Bournemouth

Liverpool was recently dethroned at the top of the Premier League table following two unexpected 1-1 draws against Leicester City and West Ham United. The Reds saw their lead in the title race reduced to 3 points over the weekend, allowing Manchester City take their place at the top. Liverpool will now aim to bounce back from their recent setbacks when they face Bournemouth on Saturday at Anfield in a must-win clash in order to stay at the top of the standings.

Jurgen Klopp may be under a lot of pressure as of the moment, but he will be expecting his men to return to their winning ways on Saturday’ match against Bournemouth. Liverpool now won just two of their previous 5 Premier League fixtures. They need to win on Saturday if they want to remain in the race for the title. With a side like the Cherries as their opponents, Liverpool are unlikely to drop any more points considering Bournemouth’s performances lately. Apart from this, the Reds managed to score at least 3 goals in 7 of their 12 league fixtures at home so far this season which also includes 4 of their last 5 matches.

Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth, on the other hand, are experiencing quite a rollercoaster so far this season. They enjoyed quite a great start to the season but have been encountering some struggles in their form lately. They were defeated by Cardiff City last weekend in an upsetting 2-0 loss. They did bounce back in a shocking way when they thrashed Chelsea at the Vitality Stadium in an outstanding 4-0 victory. However, all of the Cherries recent wins came at their home patch and facing the second highest goal scorers in the English top flight might be difficult for them to overcome.

Man City v Chelsea

Manchester City recently moved up the ladder and replaced Liverpool at the very top of the Premier League table after a 0-2 victory against Everton. The Citizens are now completely back in the race for the title following Liverpool’s recent errors. However, Manchester City will have to survive another tough test in the form of Chelsea on Sunday especially since the visitors are fresh off the back of a 5-0 demolition of Huddersfield Town.

There’s no denying that this has been a challenging campaign for Pep Guardiola’s men. The reigning champions suffered double the amount of losses they encountered in the entirety of last season. However, they will still enter this game as the heavy favourites to come as winners. The likes of Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Leicester City, and Newcastle United have all taken some points off City. While this might give the Blues a glimmer of hope, it is important to consider that the Citizens are quite faultless at home. They won all except one of their 13 Premier League fixtures this season, notching a massive 43 goals in the process.

On the other hand, Chelsea’s form on the road have been rather poor the last few months, winning three and losing 4 of their 7 Premier League away fixtures. They’ve been defeated at the hands of the Spurs, Wolves, Gunners, and the Cherries. Their recent loss to Arsenal made their record to 6 matches without a win when they visited the Big Six teams. Chelsea lost three consecutive matches on the road in all competitions without scoring even one goal. Apart from this, they failed to score in three of their previous 4 match-ups with Man City. With Chelsea’s performances especially their poor form on the road so far this season, it might be comfortable for the Citizens to come out victorious on Sunday.

By @EliaasMJ

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