Preview of Premier League Matchday 17: Exciting Fixtures Await Football Fans
This forthcoming weekend signifies the conclusion of regular football fixtures for the year, promising an array of matches worth noting. Here’s a comprehensive preview of the upcoming games.
The weekend commences at the City Ground, where Nottingham Forest hosts Tottenham Hotspur on Friday evening. Manager Steve Cooper faces escalating pressure due to a disappointing run of form. Initially securing seven points from their first five matches, Forest has only managed one victory in the subsequent 11 games, accumulating a mere seven points during this stretch.
Occupying the 16th spot, Forest faces imminent danger of losing their point advantage unless a swift turnaround occurs. Their opponents, Tottenham, rebounded impressively last weekend after a streak of losses and a draw in their previous five matches. Ange Postecoglou’s team dismantled Newcastle 4-1, aiming for victory on Friday, which would position them level on points with Manchester City in fourth place and secure a fifth-place finish for the weekend. Establishing momentum at this crucial juncture in the season becomes pivotal for Postecoglou following November’s setback.
Challenges for Newcastle
Newcastle faces a three-game losing streak, managing just two goals while conceding nine. Eddie Howe’s team, presently seventh in the Premier League, struggles following their elimination from European competition and faces Fulham on Saturday afternoon, with reports hinting at managerial changes if they fail to secure a win.
Fulham arrives at St James’ Park in exceptional goal-scoring form, netting 16 goals in their last four games. Marking their last two victories with a cumulative 10-0 scoreline, Fulham has found their rhythm after a sluggish start. In contrast, prior to this impressive run, they had scored only 10 goals in 12 matches.
Fulham seems confident against a faltering Newcastle side, potentially marking the end of Howe’s tenure.
Sean Dyche returns to Burnley, aiming to compound further misery on his former club. Vincent Kompany’s side sits joint-bottom in the Premier League, securing eight points from their initial 16 matches. Only Sheffield United has conceded more goals (41) than Burnley (34), and only two teams have scored fewer goals than their tally of 16.
Despite initial optimism after their promotion, Burnley faces the likely prospect of an immediate return to the Championship, barring a remarkable shift in form.
Their opponent, Everton, enjoys an upward trajectory in the league, with a three-game winning streak. Since their loss to Manchester United, Dyche’s team has scored six goals and maintained three clean sheets. Everton’s position outside the relegation zone speaks volumes about the former Burnley boss’s commendable work at Goodison Park.
A victory at Turf Moor on Saturday could elevate Everton as high as 15th. Their impressive form over the last five matches could potentially place them at the top of the league’s form table by the weekend’s close.
Arteta versus De Zerbi
The anticipated tactical clash between Brighton and Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium holds promise. Brighton, relatively under the radar this season despite their Europa League group win, remains undefeated since October, barring a loss against Chelsea.
Brighton, aiming for sixth place in the Premier League, should not be underestimated. They share equal goal statistics with Arsenal (33), hold the highest possession average (62.3%), and trail only Manchester City in shots on target (6.5 versus 6.6).
Arsenal seeks a return to the league summit following their 1-0 loss to Aston Villa last weekend, which saw them trailing behind Liverpool. Arteta, avoiding suspension this week, aims to resume winning ways before their Anfield fixture, viewing the encounter against a well-structured Brighton team as an ideal preparation.
Fortress Anfield for Manchester United
On paper, Liverpool appears poised for a straightforward victory. Topping the Premier League with an unblemished home record, they face an inconsistent Manchester United side on Sunday evening.
Jürgen Klopp’s team boasts the league’s joint-best defensive record, highest Expected Goals total (32.6), and most created big chances (43).
United, entering the match with just one win in their last five games across all competitions, faces an uphill task after finishing bottom in their Champions League group. Despite their sixth-place league position, they have a goal difference of minus three, with only five teams scoring fewer goals than their tally of 18.