Upcoming Premier League fixtures
Arsenal vs Liverpool, 15/07 :
The Emirates will be the host of the clash between Liverpool and Arsenal. Liverpool have already claimed the title and therefore have nothing to play for other than pride and records. Arsenal are now too far from the Champions League spots to qualify and only have the Europa League to play for, and even that seems difficult.
Despite this, this game very often provides great spectacles, and the context of the game will likely make for an open, attacking and exciting game. Arsenal have improved considerably since Arteta being made manager but keep falling victim to typical Arsenal performances of recent years.
This is to say that the attack will perform reasonably well and play attractive football but fail to capitalise on their domination and fail to bury games. Couple that with the shocking number of defensive mistakes they make, and it is understandable why they lose games like the recent North London derby, despite undeniably being the better team for most of the match.
Since becoming champions, Liverpool have been far more unpredictable than the immensely consistency they had shown up to this point. A 4-0 loss to Manchester City as their first game as champions will have stung despite the title and Burnley became the first team to come away from Anfield with points.
Despite this, Liverpool will definitely be favourites with the bookies considering the strength of their squad compared to Arsenal’s, however the London club will still fancy their chances for an upset, especially if their attacking players perform well.
Some offers for this week’s fixtures:
Leicester City vs Sheffield United, 16/07:
Sheffield United will be visiting Leicester City for what few would have thought would be a top of the table clash at the beginning of the season. Sheffield have massively exceeded expectations this season and are looking very likely to qualify for the Europa League this season, sitting at seventh place.
They have been very good recently against the best teams in the league, beating Chelsea, Wolves and Tottenham in their last four games. Their style of play is to soak up pressure and be lethal in their counterattacks, and their build up play has been fantastic, playing attractive football and being realistic in front of goal.
Leicester City have also had a very good season and currently sit third in the table. Whether they qualify for the Champions League is now completely within their own hands, and they will be relying on their talisman Jamie Vardy to carry them to victory.
Recently, their performances have been very poor, especially due to the expectations they have made for themselves. Their most recent game was a shock 4-1 victory to relegation threatened Bournemouth, despite a 1-0 lead going into halftime. Victory should have been a simple matter but the Foxes slipped up, and they will be raring for a victory in this game.
Based on recent form and position in the table, it is difficult to determine who should be favourites for this game. Because home advantage is less important without crowds, it seems that Leicester are not clear favourites to win and despite the bookies putting them as more likely to win, it might be a closer game than some are predicting.
West Ham vs Watford, 17/07:
This bottom of the table sees West Ham host Watford. This could be a very important game in terms of relegation as they sit level on points in sixteenth and seventeenth place respectively and three points above Bournemouth in the relegation zone.
Both teams have been unpredictable recently, combining impressive results with very disappointing ones. Watford have managed to win their last two games but before that they had lost four of their five games since the restart, with a draw as well.
They are a capable team when they perform well and have talented players such as Deulofeu who can turn a game on its head in an instant. Troy Deeney has been scoring goals as of late and is the kind of striker that defenders both hate and love playing against, as he is never scared of a physical battle.
West Ham also have their fair share of impressive players, although there is no doubt who has been their best player recently. Mikhail Antonio managed to score all four goals in their victory against Norwich in their last game and has been scoring for fun.
What with the Premier League being undoubtedly the most unpredictive in the world, it is very hard to accurately predict a favourite for the game, but it seems that West Ham will be going into the game feeling slightly more confident that Watford, although Watford will undoubtedly fancy their chances, especially with their recent victories.