Premier League Week 21
This week is looking to be one where the clubs at the top of the Premier League will have an opportunity to continue to separate themselves from the rest of the leage. Four of the top six clubs – save Arsenal and Chelsea, who play each other – will be playing clubs from the lower half of the league standings.
As always, the number in parenthesis before each club reflects their spot on our Power Rankings, and we’ll try to keep this list updated as the week progresses. Home teams are listed first, and winners will be indicated in bold. In the event of a draw, both teams will be placed in italics.
Saturday, 19 January 2019
12:30pm GMT/7:30am EST
(14) Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-3 (9) Leicester City
3:00pm GMT/10:00am EST
(11) AFC Bournemouth 2-0 (7) West Ham United
(2) Liverpool 4-3 (13) Crystal Palace
(3) Manchester United 2-1 (12) Brighton & Hove Albion
(18) Newcastle United 3-0 (16) Cardiff City **MATCH OF THE WEAK**
(17) Southampton 2-1 (10) Everton
(6) Watford 0-0 (15) Burnley
5:30pm GMT/12:30pm EST
(8) Arsenal 2-0 (4) Chelsea **MATCH OF THE WEEK**
Sunday, 13 January 2019
The Best Near the Top
Arsenal and Chelsea will be the match to watch this week, especially with the other clubs around them in the standings expecting to win. Arsenal plays host to Chelsea, hoping to return the favor from earlier this season when Chelsea was the host and beat Arsenal 3-2 at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal is also hoping to hold of a red hot Manchester United club that is nipping at their heels and only behind in goal differential for fifth in the league.
Arsenal has been pretty good at Emirates Stadium this season (8-2-1, +14 goal differential), so playing host may give them the leg up that they need to come out on top in this one and stay ahead of the Red Devils. However, since a 14-match unbeatne streak ended with a loss to Southampton on 16 December, Arsenal is 2-1-3 including that loss to the Saints, so they haven’t been in the greatest of form recently (which helps explain why Man U caught them and why they’ve fallen out of the Top Six in our Power Rankings).
Chelsea is currently one point behind Tottenham Hotspur in fourth place, holding down the final automatic qualifying spot for next season’s Champions League. They continue to play like the top four club that they are, though two of their three losses on the season have come to mid-table clubs (Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers).
They are in the midst of a short four match unbeaten streak (3-1-0) since Christmas, but they were expected to win all those matches, and the draw against bottom-dweller Southampton was a little out of character. Still, should they continue on their current streak, they could head to Manchester City on 10 February with a chance to solidify their place in the top four.
A Battle Near the Bottom
Our nominal “Match of the Weak” this week takes us to Newcastle, with Newcastle United welcoming Cardiff City to St James’ Park. This match will determine who takes up residence in the dreaded 18th spot in the standings. Newcastle is currently in that spot right now, a point behind the lads from Wales, and despite scoring fewer goals, the Magpies currently have a better goal differential than both clubs ahead of them in the standings. Even a draw this week might be enough to move them out of the relegation zone, at least for one week.
Cardiff City, on the other hand, is trying to find some success on the road to avoid a one-and-done season in the Premier League this season. Of their five victories, only one has come in England, a 1-0 victory over Leicester City in the last match of 2018. Overall, they are 1-2-7 in matches played away from Cardiff City, scoring only six goals in those ten matches. They too are hoping for at least a draw to avoid 18th place, though getting a second consecutive victory on the road would move them at least a couple of spots clear of relegation for the time being.
Until next time…
Last Update: 20 January 2019, 4:30pm EST