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Football News: Premier League Match Preview Tuesday 30th January 2018

Premier League Match Preview Tuesday 30th January 2018
Image from: steemit.com

Tuesday 30th January 2018

 


Swansea City v Arsenal 7:45pm kick off

 

Sanches (hamstring injury) major doubt

While the Swans are still sat at the bottom of the Premier League, they are buoyed by a 1-0 win over Liverpool last time out, which kept them in touch with the teams above them. They have now lost just one of the last four games as their form is showing signs of turning round under new man at the helm Carlos Carvalhal. Is it just a 'new manager bounce' or a genuine improvement? So far their quest for reinforcements in January has been fruitless, so Carvalhal is having to continue to make do with the players who got them in the mess in the first place. He will be hoping for a busy deadline day.
Most important player: Jordan Ayew. He gave an excellent performance on his own up front against Liverpool, Carvalhal will be looking for more of the same against Arsenal.

 

Welbeck (muscle injury expected return 3rd February) major doubt
Giroud (hamstring injury) slight doubt
Cazorla (plantaris injury) out

It has been the usual up and down season for Arsenal, leaving them another step further away from a title challenge, as has so often happened in recent years. This January window has the potential to turn things around, though the loss of Alexis Sanchez will be a real big hurdle to overcome for Arsene Wenger, if he can seal the signing of Aubameyang it could signal a change in fortunes. As usual though, it all has the feel of being too little, too late for the Gunners. It does not help that the away form has been poor for Arsenal, with just 3 wins in their 12 matches on the road, while managing to lose 5. Scoring just 14 while conceding 18 is also not good enough for a team with aspirations of a top 4 place.
Most important player: Nacho Monreal. He has become a key player for Wenger, whether at fullback or centre back.

 


Defining Battle: Swansea come into the game with their confidence on the rise while Arsenal will be fresh from a 10 day break, so full of running and desire, you would expect. The likelihood is a very similar game to the Liverpool match last time out, with Swansea defending deep and challenging Arsenal to break them down. Arsenal's big problem will be ensuring they do not get caught on the counter, as they, like Liverpool, have midfielders that struggle to do the defensive work needed.

 

Editors' Predictions:
Ed002 - 1-2
Ed003 - 0-5
Ed004 - 1-2
Ed007 - 1-2
Ed018 - 0-2
Ed025 - 0-3
Ed033 - 0-2

 


West Ham United v Crystal Palace 7:45pm kick off

 

Obiang (MCL injury) out
Arnautovic (hamstring injury expected return 24th February) out
Noble (bruised foot) late fitness test
Kouyate (ankle injury) late fitness test
Lanzini (hamstring injury expected return 3rd March) out
Ayew (hamstring injury) late fitness test
Reid (groin injury) late fitness test
Carroll (fractured foot expected return 21st April) out
Antonio (calf strain) late fitness test
Fernandes (ankle injury) out
Fonte (ankle injury expected return 24th February) out
Masuaka (suspended) out

Just one defeat in their last nine games has seen the Hammers move up the table to 11th, though they are not out of relegation danger yet. With a squad decimated by injury and a weekend defeat in the FA Cup behind them, this will be a difficult time to face a London derby match. Unless some players manage to pass their fitness tests, David Moyes might well be forced to throw new signing Joao Mario straight into the team.
Most important player: anyone who is fit. The Hammers are so threadbare at the moment, every single player fit is going to be vital, especially as they will struggle to be able to bring any youth team player along due to it being a school night.

 

Cabaye (ankle injury) slight doubt
Schlupp (MCL injury) out
Dann (ACL injury) out
Puncheon (PCL tear) out
Loftus-Cheek (ankle injury) doubt
M Sakho (calf strain) doubt
Wickham (ACL injury expected return 26th February) out

Apart from 2 defeats at the hands of Arsenal, Palace's form has been excellent over the last 12 matches. It has been enough to move them up to 13th in the table, out of the relegation places but still not out of danger yet. Despite that, their away record is still poor, with just 2 wins in the 12 matches, which shows just how much damage had been done even before Roy Hodgson took over. With West Ham hit by an injury crisis, this is the perfect opportunity for Palace to leapfrog them in the table and pull themselves a little further clear of the trapdoor.
Most important player: Wayne Hennessey. The Welsh keeper had a bit of a shocker against Arsenal, conceding 4 goals. It could be tough for him to get that out of his head.

 

Defining Battle: West Ham are going to be makeshift, unless they have a lot of successful late fitness tests! Hodgson is not known for his willingness to send his teams out to get at their opponents, he also has a couple of new players to bleed into the team. This could well end up a stalemate as neither team really have to go out and win this but a loss could be a disaster for them at this point. This is likely to come down to just two or three up front making a real difference for either side, as they look to hold everyone else goalside and protect against counters. Will a makeshift Hammers defence be able to cope with Wilfried Zaha running at them? It only takes a mistimed tackle in the box for the whole game to change.

 

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

 


Huddersfield Town v Liverpool 8pm kick off

 

Williams (dead leg) major doubt
Kongolo (knock) slight doubt
Cranie (ankle injury) late fitness test
Kachunga (MCL injury expected return 10th March) out
Stankovic (ACL injury expected return 24th February) out

Huddersfield's Premier League form has been abysmal of late, 3 defeats in a row, 6 without a win and just 2 wins in 13 games. The Terriers are beginning to look like a dog slinking off back to the Championship with its tail between its legs, rather than the tenacious terrier they are named after. It is time for them to bare their teeth and get stuck in, show they have a bite to match their bark.
Most important player: Christopher Schindler. The German centre back has been excellent for Huddersfield ever since he arrived.

 

Klavan (muscle injury expected return 4th February) major doubt
Lallana (muscle injury expected return 4th February) major doubt
Clyne (back injury expected return 24th February) out

It has all gone a bit pearshaped since beating Man City at Anfield a couple of weeks ago. Two defeats in a row to the bottom two sides in the Premier League was not supposed to happen to Liverpool any more, with the arrival of Virgil van Dijk. The Dutch defender was supposed to fix the defensive issues but the issues seemed even bigger and worse with him at the centre of the defence. Is it a long term problem or just a short term bedding in problem?
Most important player: Virgil van Dijk. He needs to be better than he was at the weekend against West Brom or Liverpool are in real danger of losing their top 4 place.

 

Defining Battle: will Huddersfield be a bit braver at home than they were at Anfield? If they go for the throat of Liverpool, they could leave themselves open, if they sit back and defend, then they could be on the end of another limp hiding. Damned if they do and damned if they don't? The defining battle though will be all in David Wagner's head, how will he set his team out?

 

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

 


Editor's Predictions Table
1. Ed025 - 144 points
2= Ed002 - 141 points
2= Ed033 - 141 points
4. Ed018 - 140 points
5. Ed004 - 139 points
6. Ed003 - 137 points
7. Ed007 - 128 points

 

*1 point is awarded for the correct result, 3 points for the correct score.
**updated 19th January 2018 (not including results for that day)

Written by Tris Burke January 30 2018 11:40:07