Welcome back to Premier League matchweek preview where we will continue to cover the exciting 2019-20 season that has undefeated Liverpool leading the way, 8 points over 2nd placed Leicester City. Before we get into our matchweek 17 preview, let’s go over what happened this past week. In their first match after sacking Marco Silva, Everton sealed an impressive 3-1 over Chelsea thanks to a Calvert-Lewin brace. Manchester United is red for now following a 2-1 win over bitter rivals City. Liverpool and Leicester continued their red-hot winning streak, staying 8 points apart from each other as City are a staggering 14 points behind in 3rd place. In North London, Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham continued their improved form by putting 5 past Burnley as Arsenal finally returned to winning ways under Freddie Ljungberg with a 3-1 win over West Ham United, with all 3 goals coming in a 9 minute span.
With that, let’s get into what to expect from matchweek 17
ARSENAL VS MANCHESTER CITY (Emirates Stadium)
The biggest matchup for this week is between PL heavyweights Arsenal and Manchester City. Not on top form, these clubs remain the biggest in the league and this fixture is more important than ever. Arsenal got the win last week but are in the midst of their worst run of form in recent history. Manchester City have been in inconsistent form and have fallen way off in the title race and need a win to have an even remote chance at the PL trophy. Arsenal sit outside the European spots, with clubs such as Wolves and even Sheffield United sitting ahead of them. With a win for both clubs more important than ever, expect a very hard fought match. Expect Calum Chambers to feature again in the back line to add some more youth and pace against a very quick and lethal City frontline. Arsenal will attempt to sit back defensively and utilize the counterattack with their pacy wingers. City will likely dominate play and be wary of the splitting Arsenal long ball. I say 3-1 City win
NOTABLE MATCH (Old Trafford)
MANCHESTER UNITED VS EVERTON
This notable matchup features two quality sides in Manchester United and Everton, two clubs with great talent but underperforming to their standard. Both coming off of HUGE wins last week, they will look to continue that impressive momentum. With Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford on the scoresheet last week against City, they will look to take advantage of a leaky Everton defense that has conceded 28 goals already this season, tied for 5th most of any club this season. Going away to United will be a tough task for interim manager Duncan Ferguson but maybe they can have the Ole effect when he took over for Mourinho, who knows? Expect a fairly even matchup that should see a winner, however. With a huge win at the Etihad last week, I see United continuing their streak with a 2-1 win
TOTTENHAM VS WOLVES
This notable matchup is between two clubs JUST outside the European spots, with Wolves one point above Spurs and missing out on 5th to Manchester United by goal differential. Wolves could be much higher in the table considering they already have 9 draws in the season that could have been deserved wins. Nonetheless, Wolves are European contenders again this season and still have the “giant killer” reputation in the league. Under Mourinho, Spurs are looking to get their season back on track and have improved in the league but suffered another demoralizing loss at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Spurs will need an improved performance from their holding midfielders and look to stabilize Wolves’ lethal front 3 in their famous 3-4-3 formation. Expect a close game with Tottenham holding most possession, I say 1-1 draw
- Liverpool vs Watford – 4-0 Liverpool
- Burnley vs Newcastle – 2-1 Newcastle
- Chelsea vs Bournemouth – 3-1 Chelsea
- Leicester City vs Norwich – 3-0 Leicester
- Sheffield United vs Aston Villa – 1-1 draw
- Southampton vs West Ham United – 1-0 West Ham
- Crystal Palace vs Brighton – 2-2 draw
THINGS TO WATCH
- Freddie Ljungberg & Duncan Ferguson – How will the interim managers do following their first wins?
- AFC Bournemouth – Is Eddie Howe in the hot seat too after 5 game losing streak?
- Jesse Lingard – Has he regained his chance at Manchester United?
- Christian Pulisic – How will he respond to Frank Lampard’s comment of expecting more from the American?
That’s all I’ve got, enjoy matchweek 17, cheers for now.
Written by: Andrew Diefenderfer (@DiefDorf)