December 28, 2018

Premier League Match Previews – 30th December Sunday

Crystal Palace v Chelsea

Crystal Palace will be hosting Chelsea at Selhurst Park on Sunday for their South London Derby in a Premier League clash. Chelsea will be coming into this match, seeking to keep a hold of their fourth place position in the league table. Crystal Palace recently displayed a stellar performance when they beat Manchester City in a 3-2 match at the Etihad Stadium.

Sunday’s fixture against Chelsea will surely be a tough one though. The Blues may have suffered their fair share of obstacles over the last month or so, but they are still at the 4th place in the Premier League standings and are just a few more points away from getting to the top of the table. Aside from that, Eden Hazard’s stunning brace against Watford sent the Blues ahead of Arsenal into the Champions League qualifying rounds.

The only thing that seems to be a problem for Chelsea is their defensive strategies with their defensive record slipping recently. They managed to concede in 4 of their previous 5 Premier League matches and only kept a clean sheet against Manchester City out of all teams.

On the other hand, Crystal Palace’s recent form is a much better and improved side compared to the one earlier in the season. The 7 points they mustered from their last 3 games plunged them up to 14th in the standings, leaving them with 6 points above the relegation zone.

The South London rivals met at least 19 times in the Premier League with the Eagles winning four times and the Blues winning thirteen. Chelsea gave Palace a 3-1 beating at Stamford Bridge during the reverse fixture last month, but it should be taken into consideration that the Eagles also beat the Blues at their home turf just last season.

Southampton v Man City

Manchester City will be travelling to St. Mary’s Stadium on Sunday to take on Southampton for their matchday 20 clash in the race for the Premier League crown. Man City startlingly lost two consecutive Premier League fixtures that resulted in them dropping down to third place in the standings. They are now 7 points below leaders Liverpool and they can’t afford any more losses if they want to remain the title race.

Despite losses, Man City will come into this match with Southampton still as the heavy favourites; however, Pep Guardiola’s side will have to work harder than ever to avoid any more failures especially considering that their opponents on Sunday will come into this fixture in full confidence. Manchester City also failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their previous nine games throughout the competition, but they still remain the favourable ones due to the gap in quality in comparison to the Saints.

On the other hand, Southampton have been struggling to find their pace ever since the start of the season. The managerial change that transpired brought the much desired effect they needed to attract audiences in the league under new boss Ralph Hasenhuttl. The Saints were able to snatch consecutive victories for the first time this season of the Premier League. They managed to snatch three goals each against both Arsenal and Huddersfield Town.

Southampton’s fixtures were remarkably impressive lately, displaying a stellar goal action that resulted in both victories and draws. They shared a 2-2 draw with Manchester United and overcame Arsenal in a 3-2 home outing just recently. Moreover, they were able to get past an impressive 3-1 tally against Huddersfield Town on the road.

Man United v Bournemouth

Manchester United will host Bournemouth for their English top flight clash on Sunday. It’s been a rollercoaster year for Man Utd this season but as of now, the hosts will be coming into this match in a completely opposite mood as things took a turn for the better ever since the sacking of former manager Jose Mourinho. The Red Devils are currently on a high under their now boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, notching up as many as 8 goals in their previous two matches under their Norwegian manager.

The Red Devils will take Sunday’s match as an opportunity to keep their incredible attacking form since they will be going against a vulnerable and struggling Bournemouth. The Cherries greatly endured a real disappointment when they were dominated by Tottenham Hotspur in a 5-0 away disaster at the Wembley Stadium.

Bournemouth lost eight, drew one and came out victorious in just one of their previous ten fixtures throughout the competition. Manchester City mostly played well on their home turf under Jose Mourinho this season, winning five, drawing three and losing just once in nine league fixtures at Old Trafford.

By @EliaasMJ

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