5 things to look forward to in the Premier League
Will lightning strike twice at Old Trafford?
After a disappointing draw against Tottenham, the previous week, a home fixture against an Everton side who hadn’t won in their last 20 trips to Old Trafford seemed like the perfect tonic. But, alas, that wasn’t to be. As, United succumbed to their second home loss of the season and heaped plenty of pressure on Moyes and dented United’s title hopes. This Saturday will see them host a Newcastle side, who haven’t won at Old Trafford since 1972.
Should they end their 41-year hoodoo at Old Trafford, even more pressure will befall Moyes, whose side are already 12 points behind leaders Arsenal. United will go into this fixture without the suspended Wayne Rooney and the injured Van Persie, which might mean a rare start for both Welbeck and Hernandez in attack. Newcastle had their four-game winning streak snapped at Swansea and will be looking to bounce back by claiming a historic win at Old Trafford.
Can Arsenal beat an effervescent Everton outfit that is brimming with confidence?
After Arsenal cantered past Hull on Wednesday, they will be hoping to extend their winning run at home to seven games, with a victory over Everton, who haven’t come out of North London with a victory since Andrei Kanchelskis scored late in the game to seal a famous three points at Highbury in 1996. It’s been almost two decades since their last win there and having taken care of one such dismal run in mid-week, can Everton make it two in two against Arsenal?
If they were to do that, the Toffees would move to within four points of the Gunners and vastly improve their chances of playing in Europe next season. They will be looking to take advantage of Arsenal’s busy schedule, which will see them face Everton, Napoli and then Manchester City in quick succession. With their progression to the Champions League knockout phase still hanging in the balance, they might be forgiven for taking an eye of this game. But, one thing is for sure, the next week will surely determine whether Arsenal are going to end their barren run this season or not.
Can the Hammers put a lid on Suarez?
On Wednesday, Suarez showed just why he is one of the best strikers in the world, not just the Premier League. All four of his goals, were a thing of beauty and each one showed a different facet of his game. When he is in that kind of form, there are few teams capable of stopping him. West Ham will be hoping that they are one of those few teams and will be hoping to win their first game at Anfield since 1964, a run that is nine months short of a half-century and puts Newcastle’s record to shame.
They come to Anfield, knowing that they will be up against the Premier League’s most lethal finisher in Suarez, who already has 13 goals to his name. The Hammers will also know that they have won only once in the last two months, that was a victory against Fulham, which prompted Jol’s sacking. Big Sam will be hoping that his side can contain Suarez and nick a goal somewhere, as his side are in sore need of some points with the bottom two quickly catching up.
Can City continue their winning ways against a Saints side that is slipping down the table?
Manchester City went into their game against West Brom on Wednesday, knowing that they had won just once away, all season and that they had to change that record fast, if they are to have any chance of winning the League. And although they won, complacency crept in the final minutes as they had to strive off a spirited comeback to seal a victory, which looked like a foregone conclusion going into the final few minutes.
Against Southampton, City can’t be complacent and hope to get away with it, as the Saints will be going all out to overturn a rotten run of results, which has seen them lose three successive games on the bounce. With injuries to key players, Saints will be short-handed, but they will surely put up a fight, that City will have to overcome, if they are to win only their third away game all season.
Will Fulham finally win or sink deeper down the table?
Defeat to West Ham, saw Martin Jol finally getting the boot from Fulham. Rene Meulensteen’s first game in charge, saw his side take the lead at home, but only to surrender it in the final quarter of the game as Spurs came back to win 2-1. In his second home game, the manager will be hoping for an upturn in fortunes, for fear of losing their seventh game in a row, and defeat against Aston Villa on Sunday, might even see Fulham at the foot of the table.
With Berbatov on his way out and Aston Villa coming on the back of a surprising away win at St. Marys in midweek, things aren’t looking too bright for Meuelensteen. And it looks as though, things might get a lot worse, before they get any better.Modified 20 Dec 2019, 00:15 IST