English Premier League Weekend Preview
Match Previews: Pick of the bunch
Liverpool vs Newcastle United
A point is all Liverpool could take at Leeds last time out and it wasn’t enough for the side to take a European place, while Newcastle have shown some fight in recent weeks with some great results that have taken them away from the relegation zone.
Liverpool have some sort of form back in them that has seen them right back in the hunt for a Champions League place. That will be the minimum objective now and if this side plays how we know they can, then they have every chance to push this until the end of the season. They’re 2 points off a place in Europe, and they will have to win each and every game until the end of the season to secure that. A draw won’t be acceptable anymore, but this game isn’t as easy as it looks on paper with Liverpool’s home form not what it once was, and Newcastle showing some great determination recently. It’s a must win for the home side.
Newcastle can breathe a huge sigh of relief as the 3-2 win against West Ham last weekend saw them lift above Burnley and Brighton and away from the relegation zone. They’re not right out of the woods yet, so a bad result here could set them back, but they’ve taken a huge step towards safety and that will be all that matters now. This one will be difficult with Liverpool likely to throw everything they can at Newcastle and it could be a long night for the defence of this team, but they have shown signs of life in recent fixtures.
West Ham United vs Chelsea
A crucial game on Saturday as these London rivals take to the pitch with a lot on the line. Both sides are still very much fighting it out for a Champions League place.
West Ham can feel hard done by after their 3-2 defeat to Newcastle last weekend. The Hammers showed some great spirit after going down to 10 men, and also being 2-0 down, they fought back until a Joe Willock header towards the end gave Newcastle all 3 points. There’s a lot of positives to come from that game, and it shows that this team is never down and out. They will have to show that again here when they take on Chelsea, and it’s a crucial game as both teams head into this one joint 4th in the league. West Ham’s biggest game for a long, long time.
Chelsea didn’t take full advantage of teams losing around them in the league as they drew 0-0 with Brighton last Tuesday, but the point was enough for them to go above West Ham into 4th for the time being. Both teams are neck and neck and this one is massive. It’s an all London affair with a lot on the line, and Thomas Tuchel will be hoping that the time is now for his big stars to really show up as a lot of his key players are still struggling to find form. This one should be tense and feisty, and with West Ham leaking goals recently, chances should be there for Chelsea.
Wolves vs Burnley
The home side have enjoyed two wins on the bounce, while Burnley’s form has seen them drop down to 17th as they hover just outside relegation.
Back-to-back 1-0 victories for Wolves against Fulham and Sheff Utd will have to do at this point. It’s all about winning games and they’ve done that which is a huge plus for this struggling team. Adama Traore is also another plus after he finally got his goal and an assist in both fixtures. It’s been a strange season for Wolves who reached the latter stages of the Europa League last season, and having to settle for survival in the Premier League this season. With the players they have, and the money invested into this team, that simply isn’t good enough. They could ruin Burnley’s hopes of survival with a result here.
Burnley have to pick up all 3 points here. They’re 6 points above Fulham, and they have a game in hand, but it’s not a given that Burnley will win that game, nor is it a given that they’ll be turning their fortunes around as it hasn’t looked likely. The team is struggling a lot, and there aren’t enough players in this squad if any that have the creative ability to go and win a game on their own, but they must somehow find a victory here. Each and every player has to prove themselves now as their recent form hasn’t been good enough for a team that is trying to survive in this league.