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EPL Match Day 27 Preview

Manchester United vs Bournemouth

Ibrahimovic and company host Bournemouth this Saturday at Old Trafford in Manchester United’s first league game since February 11th.

United are fresh off a 3-2 EFL Cup final win over Southampton last weekend where Ibrahimovic tallied two more big goals to bring his season total to 26. The Swedish striker will look to add to his 15 league goals against a Bournemouth defense that have struggled of late.

These are crucial points for both sides as United are still looking to breach the top four in the standings, sitting two points behind Arsenal in fourth, while Bournemouth’s poor form of late has seen them drop to 14th in the table and only four points clear of the relegation zone.

Jack Wilshere and Joshua King will have a Mourinho side on high alert, but look for it to be mostly one-way traffic in favor of the home team in this one, resulting in a much-needed three points for the Red Devils.

– Ryan Callinan

West Brom vs Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace travel to Hawthorns Stadium to take on a strong West Brom squad this Saturday. Desperate to earn anything from this fixture as they currently hold the 18th spot in the league standings, Palace will look to Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke to apply pressure to a unified West Brom starting 11.

West Brom sits comfortably in eighth place in the table and look to improve their league unbeaten streak to six games this weekend.

Strong contributions from all over the pitch from the Baggies will make it tough for Palace to key in on stopping one particular player, but the visitors have enough talent throughout the squad to earn something from this game.

– Ryan Callinan

Swansea City vs Burnley

Swansea City hosts Burnley this weekend in a game the home team is desperate for points.

Although losing to Chelsea last week, Swansea has shown signs of improvement in the last month. Having climbed out from the bottom of the table, now sitting in 16th place with 24 points, Swansea will look to Icelandic international Gylfi Sigurdsson to continue his impressive season and help his team climb further up the standings.

However, the Swans will have a tough time producing goals against a stingy Burnley defense who’ve allowed only seven goals in their last 10 matches in all competitions.
Burnley have struggled mightily on the road this year. Don’t be surprised if Swansea comes away with three points in this one but a draw is probably the more likely outcome.

– Ryan Callinan

Watford vs Southampton

Southampton travel to Vicarage Road Stadium to take on Watford this weekend in a mid-table clash between two teams separated by a single point in the standings. The visitors will look to leapfrog the Hornets and possibly move as high as ninth in the table with a win.

The two teams kicked off the EPL season in August that resulted in a 1-1 draw at Southampton, but losers of their last six of eight league fixtures, Southampton have slipped to 13th in the table.

One of the visitors few bright spots over the past few months has been the play of defender Virgil van Dijk, but he will have his hands full with Watford’s M’Baye Niang and Troy Deeney who have proven they are a threat to any defense.

In a tightly contested match, look for both sides to own similar time of possession, but the home side’s attacking options may too much for the visitors to handle in this one.

– Ryan Callinan

Leicester City vs Hull City

Coming off their huge upset win over Liverpool in the team’s first game after sacking Claudio Ranieri, Leicester hope to carry their momentum under interim coach Craig Shakespeare when they face off against a Hull City side who’ve been desperate to climb out of relegation for most of the season.

Jamie Vardy will look to pick up where he left off earlier in the week when he netted two of his team’s three goals against Liverpool. Some support from midfielder Riyad Mahrez could restore the formidable attack that teams had to deal with all last season.

On the other side, Hull’s Tom Huddlestone will do his best to control the middle of the field and provide quality service to Dieumerci Mbokani. He’ll need help from connecting midfielder, Alfred N’Diaye, if Hull hopes to gain anything from this game.

The visitors can find confidence from the fact that they recorded a 2-1 victory over the defending champs to kick off the season, but the confidence displayed by Leicester earlier this week could be too much for a below average Hull side to overcome on the road.

– Ryan Callinan

Stoke City vs. Middlesbrough

The Boro’s scoring woes continued last week as they suffered a rough loss to a poor Crystal Palace side. Stoke City was blown out by Tottenham last week, but they should be able to bounce back this time.

Middlesbrough’s defense will make this game interesting, but Stoke City is unbeaten at home through seven games this year and Xherdan Shaqiri does have a history of scoring against Middlesbrough.

– Corey Johns

Liverpool vs. Arsenal

A top flight game between two teams that are near the top of the standings, but Liverpool needs this one way more than Arsenal after last week’s unimaginable loss to Leicester City dropped them down to fifth place in the league, one spot below the Gunnars.

Liverpool has only one win against an EPL team in 2017 and has to get some momentum going their way. Their defense has really, really let them down this year and Arsenal just isn’t the team that one wants to face with a struggling defense.

The Gunnars were out of EPL action last week, playing in the EFL Cup, and beat them before this year. Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil might have huge games against the Liverpool defense.

– Corey Johns

Tottenham vs. Everton

Another top-flight game against two top teams. Tottenham is coming off a big win and will like to further cement themselves as a top four team in the standings. Tottenham has the Red Hot Harry Kane on their side, who has been a hat trick machine lately.

Still, Everton has their man Romelu Lukaku, who can score with the best of them. It should be an interesting matchup but Tottenham is just more consistent against the league’s better teams.

– Corey Johns

Sunderland vs. Manchester City

This should be a blowout. Manchester City has won three-straight games and is in third place in the EPL with 52 points. Meanwhile, Sunderland is dead last with only 19 points and appear like a lock to be relegated.

Man City this year has 51 goals scored, which is more than twice as many as the troubled Sunderland side. There is no real reason why this shouldn’t be a thrashing.

– Corey Johns

West Ham vs. Chelsea

Chelsea is just remarkable and while West Ham will manage to stay alive because of their offense, this Chelsea squad has gotten quality wins over every team this year and have a 10-point cushion at the top of the league standings. West Ham is in ninth place. Their problem is their defense, that has allowed 44 goals in 26 games. Chelsea’s shutdown defense has allowed only 19 goals.

– Corey Johns

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