It’s Derby Weekend!
Premier League MW 33
Everton vs. Liverpool
The game weeks starts with a trip to Merseyside, Everton are 9th in the table while Liverpool sit 3rd, two points of Manchester United. Everton lost to City at home in the preview game due to what was a very poor first half. Liverpool have a good week after struggling to beat Crystal Palace, and then demolishing Manchester City in the Champions League. Derbies are always a fiery affair, and while Salah might be rested for the game on current form Liverpool should be able to get a win at Everton.
Bournemouth vs. Crystal Palace
Bournemouth sit in 10th a chance to go to 9th with a victory, while 3 points for Palace could move them from 17th to 14th. Crystal Palace might have lost 4 out of their last 5 games but since all of those losses came against the top 6 it can be separated. Their performances in those fixtures were encouraging and on numerous occasions they were unlucky not to come away with a point. Bournemouth did well to gain a point at Watford last weekend, but I think Crystal Palace’s recent performances have shown that they could get all 3 points.
Brighton vs. Huddersfield
Having suffered losses in the last game week both team will want to respond by getting all 3 points. Brighton have been strong at home this season and so might edge it out in this fixture while Huddersfield need to win to gain some distance from the relegation zone.
Leicester vs. Newcastle
Having moved out of the relegation zone in recent weeks a win for Newcastle could see them move to 10th, while Leicester will be trying to continue their battle for 7th with Burnley. Leicester and Newcastle have been in good form and so this should be an interesting clash, the key for Newcastle would be to keep Vardy and Mahrez quite but that is easier said than done.
Stoke City vs. Tottenham
Stoke City sit 19th in the league and time for them to escape the relegation zone is running out at each game week passes. Injuries to important players has no helped their endeavour and the run of losses seams like it will continue. Tottenham are in seventh heaven after beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge for the first time in 28 years and will be confident going into the fixture. Kane did make a substitute appearance against Chelsea and will want to start against a poor Stoke side as he tries to catch Salah in the golden boot race. Playing at Stoke is tough for even the best teams and Stoke might need to tap into that energy to get something away from Tottenham.
Watford vs. Burnley
Burnley have put in fine performances in recent week to hold 7th place while Watford could move to 9th with a win. Watford have been inconsistent and relatively poor lately and that is why Burnley should be able to take all three points.
West Brom vs. Swansea
Swansea suffered an away loss to Manchester United last weekend and West Brom continued their losing streak at home. After a poor first half at Old Trafford, Swansea did rally in the second and put in a performance that has become a showcase of Carvalhal’s management. In all probability Swansea will continue to poor the misery on the West Brom and should take all three points.
Man City vs. Man United
A perfect way to end an entertaining Saturday of Premier League fixtures. Needing 3 points to win the title City could ask for no better opponents than their local rivals United. Celebrations of unseen proportions would follow a City win at home and Mourinho and United will do whatever it takes to make sure that does not happen. A crushing loss to Liverpool in the Champions League could either buoy City for this game or could create doubts over their capability, the first is more of a possibility. Liverpool have given Mourinho the perfect blueprint to beat City although Mourinho like many other managers is not know to change his tactics too often. Either way this should be a mouthwatering tie, City fans will want to implement the ultimate humiliation while United fans will not want to suffer it.
Arsenal vs. Southampton
Southampton will most likely suffer their second loss in London after losing to West Ham last week. Arsenal put in a great first half performance against CSKA Moskva in the Europa League and will want to carry on their form. Rotations are expected as Aubameyang will probably replace Lacazette up top along with a few other changes. Southampton sit 18th and are most likely to stay their for this game week.
Rest Of Europe
Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid
The third major derby of the weekend comes from Madrid as third placed Real entertain second placed Atletico. Real and Atletico both won their games in the champions league and europa league respectively while there is no doubt that Real’s was the more impressive of the two. Ronaldo and Real are back to their best this year while Atletico have been rejuvenated with Diego Costa back in the team. A win for Real would take them to within a point of Atletico while a win for Atletico would see them extend the gap to 7 points. Similar to last weeks London Derby the major difference between this game and that would be that Real unlike Chelsea are in top form and should be able to get three points in what will be a close game.