Southampton v Manchester United

Southampton are currently having a tough season so far, but after their difficulties last season and failing to improve the team, their struggles right now are really not surprising. Their disappointing run continued just recently as they were knocked out of the Carabao Cup on penalties in a match against Leicester City. What’s more distressing, however, are their clumsy performances in the Premier League so far.

It’s been several years of waning for Southampton now. The Saints haven’t won any league fixture since their match against Crystal Palace at the beginning of September, and their win against the latter is their only win of the season as of the moment. They failed to win seven of their thirteen games, dropping a total of 31 points and further sinking into the relegation zone.

On the other hand, Manchester United aren’t really in a great situation either.  They will come into this game on the back of a greatly disappointing 0-0 draw last weekend against Crystal Palace. Before that, they were dominated by Manchester City in their derby. Even though they managed to bag a 1-0 win during the midweek against Young Boys in the Champions League, it wasn’t really a confidence boosting victory. All in all, Manchester United acquired only 3 wins in their previous 8 matches.

Jose Mourinho’s team has one of the best defensive records in the Premier League during the 2017-18 season. However, they already managed to concede 21 goals, more than any other squad in the Premier League top-ranked teams. While the Saints aren’t really stepping on their best foot forward, they still managed to score in half of their home fixtures this season and in each of their previous three visits though they failed to score against Burnley, Newcastle and Chelsea at St. Mary’s this season.

Crystal Palace v Burnley

Crystal Palace will welcome Burnley for their Premier League clash on Saturday. Both sides are in need of three points as they sit uncertainly just slightly above the relegation zone. Crystal Palace were able to steer clear of relegation after hiring current manager Roy Hodgson to take charge of the team following their horrible start to the campaign last time out. This year, Crystal Palace were high on hope of reaching the top of the standings but it seems as though they may be staring another elimination battle as they currently sit in the 16th place, one point above the relegation zone.

Crystal Palace began the season in a promising performance when they defeated the newly improved Fulham in a 2-0 win. However, their setbacks against Liverpool, Watford and Southampton brought an end to their hopes. They did manage to bag 3 points when they travelled to Huddersfield in September and that still remains as their most recent victory in the competition. They lost 5 and drawn 3 of their league fixtures, pushing them down to the 16th position in the Premier League table.

Meanwhile, Burnley were also quite optimistic and were hoping for a memorable campaign this season as they waited for their long-awaited comeback to European football this year. The remarkably impressive campaign that saw them finish in the seventh place last season was enough to secure them a place in the Europa League qualifying rounds. However, after making it to two rounds of the qualifying stage, Burnley was thrashed by the Olympiakos and are now struggling to recuperate as shown in their poor displays in the Premier League.

Burnley aren’t looking good at the moment, but Crystal Palace look just as bad. It’s a win or a bust for these two teams on Saturday. Who will come out successful?

Leicester City v Watford

Leicester City will host Watford at the King Power Stadium as both sides attempt to establish a return to their old impressive ways in the Premier League; however, neither side is enjoying a particularly remarkable campaign in the Premier League at the moment.

It’s been quite an emotional few weeks for Leicester City following the catastrophic death of the club’s owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in a helicopter crash after the club’s Premier League match against West Ham United. It’s also been a challenging season for Leicester ever since the departure of Riyad Mahrez in the summer. While James Maddison proved to be an equally impressive replacement for the Algerian, it’s not enough for Leicester to show a better-quality performance on the field.

However, the Foxes were able to bag a 1-1 draw against Brighton last weekend, prolonging their undefeated run in four Premier League fixtures and with only one of those coming out successful. Leicester City are undefeated in five games throughout all competitions and are playing their hearts out to stay in the top half of the Premier League standings. As a matter of fact, Leicester only came out successful in 1 of their previous 6 league matches and haven’t scored more than a single goal in any of those.

Watford, on the other hand, are hovering just slightly above Leicester City in the 9th position with a 2-point advantage. However, they are also suffering from a less than perfect performance at the moment. They were overpowered by Liverpool in their home turf during last weekend’s fixture and are now winless in three of their Premier League matches. Their position at the top half of the table is due to their 4-match winning streak at the beginning of the season. However, if they don’t win this match, they could be pushed out of the top in the Premier League standings.

By @EliaasMJ
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