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EPL Match Day 25 Preview

Liverpool vs. Tottenham

The marquee matchup of the weekend will take place on Saturday evening at Anfield. Liverpool has had success against their opponents in recent times, as they hold an eight-match unbeaten streak in the Premier League against Spurs. Additionally, Spurs have lost 15 trips to Anfield of the 24 Premier League matches they’ve played there.

In terms of European places, this will be a massive match. Liverpool sits fifth and Spurs are second with only four points separating the two in the table. The recent run of form from Liverpool is a concern as they have yet to win a Premier League match in 2017. However, a win on Saturday could be just what they need to jump-start a more consistent run of form.

– Dan Garza

Arsenal vs. Hull City

Coming off a backbreaking 3-1 defeat to league leaders Chelsea last weekend, Arsenal returns home to Emirates Stadium Saturday to take on a Hull City side looking to notch back to back wins for only the second time all season. Hull’s stunning 2-0 victory over Liverpool last weekend continued their run of good form under new manager Marco Silva and lifted them to 18th in the league table, one point from relegation zone safety.

Arsenal has slipped to fourth in the table after losing their last two league matches, but they will take solace from the fact that they haven’t lost to Hull in their previous 13 meetings, going 10-3-0 in those matches. However, things won’t come easy for the Gunners as Hull’s stifling defense, who’ve held Manchester United and Liverpool scoreless in the past two league matches, looks to make it three consecutive shutouts and climb out of relegation.

This will be a match of contrasting styles. Look for Arsenal to hold much of the possession and attacking prowess while City will be content to soak up pressure and hit on the counter. A draw would be a good result for the visitors, but an upset win isn’t too far-fetched.

– Ryan Callinan

Swansea City vs. Leicester City

An all-important bottom of the table clash will pit these two struggling sides against each other. They sit side-by-side in the table in 16th and 17th and are not out of the danger zone yet. Leicester have won the last four Premier League meetings between the two, which includes a 2-1 earlier in the season.

Swansea’s new addition Jordan Ayew will most likely make his debut with the club on Sunday. This is exciting news for the club as Gyfli Sigurdsson will also bring an offensive dimension to the match, as he has scored in three consecutive matches.

– Dan Garza

West Ham vs. West Bromwich

Two teams inside the top 10 in the standings square off this Saturday when ninth-placed West Ham hosts eighth-placed West Brom at London Stadium. Both teams are coming off solid wins, West Ham away at Southampton 3-1 and West Brom at home against Stoke City 1-0, and neither side will want to diminish their chances of ending the season in the top half of the table on Saturday.

West Brom, normally a mid-table team, is having a quietly good year. Not much is being talked about the Baggies as they’ve tallied 36 points through week 24, which is only seven points less than their entire 2015-16 campaign. However, while West Brom has been feasting on the bottom half of the table, they have struggled against the elite teams, recording a 2-1-7 record against top 10 teams thus far this year.
West Ham hopes to deliver the Baggies their ninth loss to a top 10 team as they build off a big three points earned at Southampton. Unfortunately for them, their record against the top half of the table is even worse at 0-2-9. Not only do both teams hold similar results in that regard, but the history between the two is separated by a single win as West Ham has won six and West Brom won five, and eight draws make up the remainder of the games played.

Something has to give at London Stadium on Saturday. Because the teams are so evenly matched, give the advantage to the home side as they look to climb to within two points of visitors in the league standings.

– Ryan Callinan

Middlesbrough vs. Everton

Middlesbrough will be hosting one of the hottest teams in the EPL this Saturday when Everton make their way to Riverside Stadium. With five wins and two draws in their last seven league matches, Everton looks to carry the momentum they gathered from last week’s decisive 6-3 home win over Bournemouth on the road this week.

Everton sits firmly inside the top half of the table in seventh with 40 points and is looking to make a charge for the top four. Doing his part to the team’s success is striker Romelu Lukaku, who took the league lead in goals (16) last week when he netted four in his team’s runaway victory. However, it may only take one this week from the Belgian forward as Middlesbrough have tallied the least amount of goals so far this year with 19.

Middlesbrough hopes to earn their first league win since December 17th. A 1-0 loss at Tottenham over the weekend looked competitive on the scoreboard, but the Boro’s never really threatened to steal any points from a superior Spurs side. Their lack of possession and attacking threat left them defending for nearly 90 minutes, a situation they hope doesn’t repeat itself when Everton visit.

Everton has too much firepower for Boro in this one. Look for the visitors to continue their run of good form with a road win and apply even more pressure to Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United, all of whom are vying for that fourth spot in the standings.

– Ryan Callinan

Burnley vs. Chelsea

Burnley will put their impressive home record to the test when they host Chelsea on Sunday. The league leaders have never lost to Burnley in five matches played between the two in the top flight. All nine of Burnley’s wins this season have come at home, including a current five-game win streak at the Turf Moor. This could be a tricky match for Chelsea, but with a full squad available it will be hard to see them losing.

– Dan Garza

Bournemouth vs. Manchester City

Manchester City will look to extend their unbeaten streak against Bournemouth on Monday. It’s been a one-sided series of matches between the two sides, City has won all three of their previous Premier League meetings, and have outscored the Cherries 13 to one. A win could potentially move City into second on the table if results elsewhere go their way.

– Dan Garza

Manchester United vs. Watford

Manchester United dominated a struggling Leicester City side on Saturday with a comfortable 3-0 victory and now return home to take on a Watford squad searching for its third consecutive Premier League win.

With its win over Leicester, United moved to within two points of Arsenal, who hold the fourth spot in the standings, a position United are desperate to gain and put them back in Champions League play. Their effort over the weekend showed serious signs of returning to the glory days under former manager Sir Alex Ferguson as the likes of Mhikitaryan and Ibrahimovic flashed their brilliance throughout the match and earned a crucial three points.

Watford enters the game on a run of good form of their own after strong wins against Arsenal and Burnley, which catapulted them into 10th in the standings. Only weeks ago worries of a relegation zone battle were a serious threat, but those fears have been assuaged and Watford’s focus now lies on remaining in the top 10. They’ll have their hands full Saturday away at Old Trafford.

Look for Watford to have to defend for large portions of the game and hope to take one or two of the few chances presented to them. With a spot in the coveted top four in sight, Manchester United will be hungry for all three points. Look for United to win a close one at home.

– Ryan Callinan

Sunderland vs. Southampton

A massive result against Crystal Palace last week has given life to Sunderland’s hopes of staying in the English top flight. They will host a Southampton side on Saturday that has lost two consecutive Premier League matches. In August, the two sides tied 1-1 in their first fixture against each other. Southampton did win 1-0 in the League Cup Round of 16, which took place in October.

Goals have not been lacking when these two clubs meet, there has never been a goalless draw in 37 matches played between the two. Jermaine Defoe is one of the reasons why that streak stands as of late, the English forward has scored in his last two matches against Southampton in the Premier League, and was on the mark last week with a brace. He will be a player to watch.

– Dan Garza

Stoke City vs. Crystal Palace

In a game that has the farthest thing from title implications surrounding it, Stoke City host a rather pathetic looking Crystal Palace side on Saturday. While Stoke sits relatively comfortable from relegation discussion in 11th place in the standings with 29 points, Crystal Palace has landed themselves right in the thick of a relegation battle as they stand in 19th position with 19 points.

Crystal Palace suffered an ugly looking defeat this past weekend at home to last-place Sunderland, which leveled the two teams in points. Sunderland poured in four first-half goals to the utter dismay of Palace supporters, who will be watching this weekend’s contest in angst as their side fight for their Premier League lives with 14 games remaining.

However, some relief may be granted in the fact that one of Palace’s five league wins came earlier in the season against Stoke- a 4-1 win at that. Also, Palace has earned 12 of their 19 points on the road this season. Still, it will be a tough task to regroup after last week’s confidence shattering loss and hold off a Stoke side seeking revenge for a poor outing earlier in the season.

– Ryan Callinan

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