EPL 2018-19: Three title defining fixtures this weekend
English Premier League clubs have played only 21 games and still have 17 more games to play before the season ends, but the games this weekend are crucial for the current top three in the table. The results this weekend will determine if it’s going to be a three-horse race or two horse-race to the finish.
It might seem premature to claim that the title will be won by only one of the current top three, however, such has been the season with a very tightly fought race to the top.
Some faithfuls might argue not to discount Chelsea as yet, who were very much in the title race until they lost to Tottenham Hotspur at the end of November. But they now sit four points behind Spurs, who are third in the points table, and 10 points behind the leaders Liverpool. To add to their woes, they have managed to score just five goals in their last five Premier League games, three of which have been scored by Eden Hazard.
The lack of an in-form and reliable center forward is hurting Chelsea and the fans would be hoping that this is addressed before the January transfer window ends. For this season, they may have to contend with the fourth position, but will have to fend off Arsenal, who are three points behind on fifth, and Manchester United, a further three points behind on sixth in the points table.
1. Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Liverpool (Saturday, Jan 12 @15:00 GMT)
Brighton are just in their second season of the Premier League and sit comfortably at 13th, 10 points from the drop-zone. Their results in the last five Premier League games (recent first) are: D W D L L.
At home this season, they have done fairly good with 5 wins, 3 draws, and just 2 losses. They’ve also conceded just 11 goals in 10 games at home with three clean sheets. However, they face a Liverpool team that has been in a superb run of form. Liverpool have just lost one game this season, their last game against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Liverpool have won four of their last five Premier League games, scoring 15 goals and conceding just 4. They have also kept the most clean-sheets this season, 12 so far of which 5 have been away from Anfield.
Away from home, Liverpool have won 8 of the 11 games. Although Chris Hughton might be hoping to come away with a point from this game, but the signs are ominous for Brighton against Jurgen Klopp’s rampaging Liverpool team who hope to win their first Premier League title in so many years. In my opinion, Liverpool will come unscathed from this game maintaining the lead at the top or depending on other results even extending the lead.