Moore Than Just A Club

Matchday Twenty-Three’s Premier League Preview: Battle Of The David’s In The Dales As The Reds Meet The Citizens

After a weekend off for the Third Round of the 2017/2018 FA Cup, the English Top-Flight is back once more for another few days of enthralling action up and down the Country as the League leaders travel to the cauldron of Anfield on Super Sunday and the Hammers journey to Yorkshire for a crucial clash.

Chelsea vs Leicester City (Saturday 3 PM)

To kick-off all of Game Week 23’s spills and thrills, Antonio Conte’s Blues entertain Claude Puel’s Foxes in a meeting of the last two Premier League Champions.

Chelsea may not be the strongest of Title contenders this season, but they have shown some stern form over the last few weeks, unbeaten in their last six in the League and fresh from a Carabao Cup Semi-Final stalemate with Arsenal, they currently occupy third position.

Meanwhile, Leicester have enjoyed a fairly respectable campaign up until this point, although one thing lacing does seem to be consistency, they failed to beat Fleetwood Town of League One last weekend having beaten Huddersfield Town at the King Power Stadium just a few days before to remain eighth.

The hosts are, unsurprisingly, the favourites for this one, losing out in only one of their last 11 encounters with tomorrow’s visitors, but they must watch out for forward Jamie Vardy who is the leading scorer against the so-called “Big Six” since his team’s Promotion.

Glanville’s Prediction: 2-1.

Crystal Palace vs Burnley (Saturday 3 PM)

Elsewhere in the Capital, at that time, Sean Dyche’s high-flying Claret side will be making the tough trip to Selhurst Park where they will meet with Roy Hodgson’s resurgent Eagles.

Palace have been rescued from a very tricky predicament and now sit 14th in the Standings, being defeated only once in their last 11 matches in the League, although they are fresh from a disappointing Cup loss at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion on Monday.

Burnley, you could perhaps say, a slightly less up and down version of their opposition’s season in reverse, having got into the top four at one point, the Lancashire club are now back down in seventh place, without a victory in six in all Competitions and most recently being thrashed by Manchester City.

If the visitors manage to triumph on the road, three could well be their magic number, they’ve been victorious in each of the last three playing’s of this fixture and unbeaten in each of their last three trips to London.

Glanville’s Prediction: 1-1.

Watford vs Southampton (Saturday 3 PM)

In Hertfordshire, just North of London, an all-South battle well commence at Vicarage Road with the Hornets looking to sting the Saints for the second time in this campaign.

Marco Silva’s team ended a wait of around two months for a win by beating the Foxes on Boxing Day, they have lost two League matches since then, however, were able to overcome Bristol City in the Cup the last time that they took to the field.

While Watford sit tenth, Mauricio Pellegrino’s Southampton are enduring a very worrying period indeed at the moment, their last League defeat against Crystal Palace seeing them fall to 17th, while a win at Craven Cottage on Saturday would have boosted their morale slightly.

The only team in the Division that are on a longer winless run than the South Coast side are West Bromwich Albion, they will be hoping to quash Relegation murmurs as quickly as they can, but will they be able to?

Glanville’s Prediction: 1-0.

Huddersfield vs West Ham United (Saturday 3 PM)

In another of the traditional Saturday afternoon ties, a pair of David’s will do battle, Wagner and Moyes that is as their two teams go toe-to-toe at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Huddersfield are holding their own in their first ever PL term, they’re comfortable in 11th position, although the last three points they claimed was before Christmas, although Cup glory was tasted away at Bolton Wanderers six days ago.

West Ham were held by League One Shrewsbury Town on Sunday, albeit with a slightly weakened team, their League form is better and an admirable point away at Wembley did take them up to 15th place early in the month, tomorrow presents them with a chance to go above Huddersfield.

But, don’t bank on any kind of definitive result as the hosts have drawn three of their last four Top-Flight matches and the away side two of their last three, will it be a more entertaining matchup than the one promised?

Glanville’s Prediction: 0-0.

West Bromwich Albion vs Brighton & Hove Albion (Saturday 3 PM)

The Premier League’s two Albion’s will also be exchanging pleasantries at the Hawthorns Stadium at the same time in the firm if West Bromwich and Brighton.

It has now been 20 games without a win in the League for Alan Pardew’s men, the longest spell in the League, although that dismal run was ended in all Competitions at Exeter on Sunday, offering some hope, the Baggies are in 19th position.

The English Top-Flight hasn’t all been fun and games for Chris Hughton’s side so far, but they did manage to overcome fellow PL opposition in the Cup on Monday evening, rivals Palace, a defeat for them in the Midlands would mean 23 points from 23 clashes.

One thing that will fill the hosts with encouragement is the fact that they have avoided defeat in a total of nine home matches against Brighton, more than they have with any other team in the Football League, it could well be ten by tomorrow evening.

Glanville’s Prediction: 0-1.

Newcastle United vs Swansea City (Saturday 3 PM)

In the North East, yet another match involving two outfits from the bottom half of the Table will be played out as the Magpies meet with fellow strugglers the Swans at St James’ Park.

Newcastle have endured a topsy-turvy last few months under Rafa Benitez, a time mostly spent in the Relegation zone which they are now clear of by two points in 13th, they will be brimming with confidence fresh from the home drubbing of Luton Town.

The same cannot be said for new Manager Carlos Carvalhal with Swansea, his teammate rock bottom of the PL and possess a very bleak outlook indeed, if he is going to turn things around this would be a very good place to start, four points from safety and off the back of a Cup draw away at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

If there is faint hope for the visitors, it lays in the statistics, St James’ is their favourite Ground in the Top-Flight, where they have won three of five visits, but they must keep close tabs on Jamaal Lascelles, two in two for him against the Welshmen.

Glanville’s Prediction: 2-2.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Everton (Saturday 5:30 PM)

All of Saturday’s Football will wind to a close in the evening at Wembley Stadium with what is set to be an intriguing matchup, the Lilywhites facing the Toffees.

Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs recovered from a frustrating draw with West Ham to ease past AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup at the weekend, their form in the League does seem to have suffered due to Competitions outside in this campaign, fifth position will not be where they want to be at present. Considering the start that Sam Allardyce’s Everton made in the summer, they will be very satisfied to be the current occupants of ninth place, however their unbeaten start under the former Palace Boss was ended by AFC Bournemouth at the end of December, and they have not won since, bowing out of the Cup to Liverpool last Friday.

Both sides will surely look to their danger men to make the difference live on BT Sport, for the hosts this will undoubtedly be record-breaking striker Harry Kane, whilst an iconic forward will also be in the visiting party, Wayne Rooney, can either of them deliver a killer blow?

Glanville’s Prediction: 3-1.

AFC Bournemouth vs Arsenal (Sunday 1:30 PM)

In the first of Sky Sports’ two Sunday fixtures, Arsene Wenger will hope that he can Gun down the Cherries at the Vitality Stadium, while Eddie Howe’s men will be hoping for a fruitful outing.

Bournemouth’s form has rapidly improved in times more recent, they haven’t lost in four in all Competitions off the back of a late draw at home to Wigan Athletic, though they are worryingly hovering above the dreaded drop zone, 17th.

Whereas, Arsenal have been left frustrated in their last few outings, being involved in a 0-0 stalemate at Stamford Bridge following losing to Championship side Nottingham Forest five days ago, the North London side are sixth.

If Sunday proved a tricky day for the Gunners last week, AFC have lost 10 of their last 23 matches on the day, so a week could make the world of difference if they are going to end a winless run of three outings.

Glanville’s Prediction: 0-2.

Liverpool vs Manchester City (Sunday 4 PM)

The second fixture in two days’ time will bring what is surely the marquee event of the weekend, with two of Europe’s most recognisable Managers facing off with each other.

The home Boss, Jurgen Klopp, saw his team battered in the last playing of this particular encounter at the Etihad Stadium, the Reds are clinging to fourth place by three points, defeating bitter rivals Everton in the Cup last Friday evening.

Pep Guardiola’s side’s lead the very summit of the Standings by a staggering 15 points, although their incredible run of consecutive victories was ended on the last day of 2017 by the Eagles, they most recently were the victors of the Clarets in the FA Cup and Bristol City in the Carabao Cup.

No matter how convincingly the Citizens reigned supreme last time out, a win on Sunday will be their first League double over the Red Half of Merseyside for an incredible 80 years, can they achieve the admirable feat away from home?

Glanville’s Prediction: 2-3.

Manchester United vs Stoke City (Monday 8 PM)

Monday Night Football will make its return in this particular dosage of the Top-Flight as the Red Devils welcome the Manager-less Potters to Old Trafford for what is expected to be a very one-sided affair.

United were able to regain their grip on second spot with a win over Everton, their first victory in the space of four ties, Jose Mourinho’s men are a full 15 points off their City rivals on the top of the Table, they were most recent victorious over Derby County on home soil.

Whilst Stoke are yet to appoint a replacement after the sacking of Mark Hughes last weekend, in the wake of an embarrassing loss away at the Ricoh Arena to Coventry City, they are only in the bottom three on goal difference, level on points with the Saints above.

The outlook does not look very positive for Stoke’s Caretaker Manager Eddie Niedzwiecki, the Manchester club have managed to take 25 points out of the last 27 available, Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku may have his say if United are to make it 28 from 30.

Glanville’s Prediction: 3-0.

So, now that all the spoils and thrills from the 23rd Matchday of the 2017/2018 campaign have been well and truly previewed, who will be the winners? Who will be the losers? And who will be the headline-makers over the next few days? Join us again on Monday to find out.