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Football News: Premier League Match Preview Sunday 14th January 2018

Premier League Match Preview Sunday 14th January 2018
Image from: shenanitims.wordpress.com

Sunday 14th January 2018

 


Bournemouth v Arsenal 1:30pm kick off

 

King (hamstring injury) late fitness test
Stanislas (hamstring injury) late fitness test
Defoe (broken ankle expected return 24th February) out
Mings (back injury) out

Eddie Howe managed to put an end to a run of 3 defeats in a row and now the Cherries have not lost in 3, but have only won once. In fact that is just one win in 10 Premier League games for Bournemouth, which has seen them stuck in a relegation battle, when they had hope for safety this season. Just one point separates them from the bottom three. The worrying thing for Bournemouth is that Howe seems to have hit a brick wall and is unable to move the club forward at all. Each season he invests heavily in players that fail to improve the team. How long will the fans stay content with the status quo?
Most important player: Jordon Ibe. Has yet to live up to expectations, but he is finally beginning to show signs of promise in a Bournemouth shirt.

 

Wilshere (ankle injury) late fitness test
Ozil (knee injury) late fitness test
Kolasinac (ankle injury) late fitness test
Koscielny (achilles injury expected return 20th January) major doubt
Monreal (ankle injury expected return 20th January) out
Giroud (hamstring injury expected return 30th January) out
Cazorla (plantaris injury) out

Arsenal's form has been a bit patchy of late, just 2 wins in 8 Premier League games, and it has left them looking up at the top 5, potentially outside of European qualification places. Preparations have clearly begun at the Gunners for life after Wenger, with the twin hiring in key positions, however it is the here and now that is the real problem. The lack of investment in the playing squad, the most important part of any football team, is catching up with them. When added to the inability of Arsene Wenger to keep up with the latest thinking, Arsenal are starting to get left behind by the teams above them.
Most important player: Ainsley Maitland-Niles. While the lad is a very good footballer, he is not such a good fullback and his weaknesses defensively can be exposed.

 


Defining Battle: two footballing sides who will look to outplay each other, but the key will be the wide areas, where the wingbacks of Arsenal will be up against wingers and fullbacks who will attack them. Whether Wenger goes with a back 3 or back 4, they do lack width in forward areas, which will put a lot of pressure on the wingbacks to get forward and chase back. Bournemouth have to try and keep them pegged back by looking to use the space in behind them for their wingers to exploit.

 

Editors' Predictions:
Ed002 - 0-1
Ed003 - 1-3
Ed004 - 1-2
Ed007 - 0-2
Ed018 - 1-2
Ed025 - 1-1
Ed033 - 1-2

 

Liverpool v Manchester City 4pm kick off

 

Salah (groin strain) slight doubt
Sturridge (muscle injury) late fitness test
Henderson (hamstring injury expected return 22nd January) major doubt
Moreno (ankle injury expected return 22nd January) doubt
Clyne (back injury expected return 10th February) out

Thirteen games without defeat and only conceding 9 goals in those matches suggests Liverpool are genuine contenders for second place. This game will decide whether everyone is still playing for the title or if Man City truly have it all wrapped up. This is a big chance for revenge after the hiding they suffered at the hands of City in the away fixture.
Most important player: Roberto Firmino. How will the Brazilian respond to the sale of Coutinho? He is the one who linked up really well and they made each other tick.

 

Jesus (MCL injury expected return 13th February) out
Kompany (calf strain) major doubt
Foden (ankle injury) out
Mendy (ACL injury expected return 18th April) out

Citeh just keep rolling on over opponent after opponent, with only two Premier League teams able to hold them to a draw this season. The season looks like a done deal for Man City, with the only real question, seemingly, how many points they win by, unless they have a major collapse. So far though, even though their performances have dropped markedly they continue to get the results week in, week out. Even a defeat now would mean nothing in terms of the season, unless it leads to a complete collapse for the end of the season. Is there anything that can stop them?
Most important player: Sergio Aguero. With Jesus out for a spell they will be heavily reliant on Aguero to get the goals.

 

 

Defining Battle: the key to beating Man City is the press. A high press well applied has caused them no end of problems, particularly against Bristol City in the EFL Cup, until the Bristolians tired towards the end. Have Liverpool got the legs and energy to apply the press well for the full 90 minutes?

 

Editors' Predictions:
Ed002 - 3-3
Ed003 - 2-3
Ed004 - 2-2
Ed007 - 1-3
Ed018 - 4-4
Ed025 - 2-0
Ed033 - 1-2

 



Editor's Predictions Table
1= Ed002 - 137 points
1= Ed025 - 137 points
3. Ed033 - 136 points
4= Ed003 - 135 points
4= Ed004 - 135 points
6. Ed018 - 133 points
7. Ed007 - 121 points

 

*1 point is awarded for the correct result, 3 points for the correct score.
**updated 11th January 2018 (not including results for that day)

Written by Tris Burke January 14 2018 04:47:53