Football News: Premier League Match Preview Sunday 4th February 2018

 

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Premier League Match Preview Sunday 4th February 2018
Image from: sciencenews.org

Sunday 4th February 2018



Crystal Palace v Newcastle United 2:15pm kick off


Sako (broken ankle expected return 18th August) out
Schlupp (MCL injury expected return 5th March) out
Dann (ACL injury) out
Puncheon (PCL tear) out
Loftus-Cheek (ankle injury) doubt
Wickham (ACL injury) out

Their ascent up the table has stopped lately, but they will be happy if they maintain their place in the table at the end of the season. What they can not afford to do is to rest on their laurels, they are not out of relegation danger just yet. Recent games have seen them a little disrupted by injuries and the momentum they had gathered under Roy Hodgson has dissipated. They will be looking to their January signings to get them moving in the right direction once more.
Most important player: Luka Milivojevic. The Serbian controls midfield play for Palace when at his best.


Slimani (thigh strain) late fitness test
Lejeune (foot injury expected return 11th February) major doubt
Gamez (ankle injury) out
Elliot (knock) slight doubt



Despite form not really picking up, just 1 win in 6 games, there is a lot more optimism around Newcastle right now. The transfer window brought them the goalscorer they were in desperate need of and Rafa Benitez reaffirmed his commitment to stay at the club. That has been enough to lift the fans and create a more uplifting atmosphere around the team. The key now is to turn that into results.
Most important player: Kenedy. The on-loan Brazilian was excellent on his debut and repaid Benitez's faith in him.


Defining Battle: both teams are strongest in the wide forward areas, with pace and skill to attack the box. That is where the game will be won. If either team's fullbacks are not on top of their game then they will get taken apart.


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




Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur 4:30pm kick off


Klavan (thigh strain expected return 11th February) major doubt
Lallana (muscle injury) doubt
Clyne (back injury expected return 10th March) out

Liverpool's form is good, despite the defeat to Swansea, as they have won 5 of their last 6 games, just that result against the Swans spoiling their recent run. However the last time these two teams faced off, Spurs gave Liverpool a lesson with a 4-1 win at Wembley. At Anfield Liverpool are a totally different prospect, still unbeaten and only conceded 7 goals all season and they have revenge to drive them on. Will it be enough though?
Most important player: Mohamed Salah. A chance to close up on Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot.


Aurier (ankle injury) slight doubt
Winks (ankle injury) slight doubt
Alderweireld (hamstring injury) slight doubt

Spurs have picked themselves up after their defeat against Man City to go on a 7 match unbeaten run, though performances have been inconsistent, some excellent, some games they have struggled. What they have done is shown they can compete even without their best defender, Toby Alderweireld, and now the big Belgian is back to fitness they are right in the battle for second place.
Most important player: Harry Kane. He is more than just 'one of their own', Kane is a top class striker who is getting better and better.


Defining Battle: these are the kind of games Liverpool usually relish, with an opposition who will take the game to them. Usually. This season it has not always worked out like that, particularly against Spurs. This is likely to be a high intensity, high press, attacking game, with two teams looking to win. LFC's front 3 have pace and skill, Spurs have movement and creativity in theirs, which will come out on top? It does look like it is a case of who can score more, rather than which team will score.


Editors' Predictions:
Ed002 - 5-3
Ed003 - 4-2
Ed004 - 3-2
Ed007 - 2-2
Ed018 - 3-3
Ed025 - 2-2
Ed033 - 2-2



Editor's Predictions Table
1. Ed025 - 160 points
2. Ed002 - 159 points
3. Ed018 - 158 points
4. Ed033 - 150 points
5. Ed004 - 149 points
6. Ed003 - 145 points
7. Ed007 - 142 points


*1 point is awarded for the correct result, 3 points for the correct score.
**updated 2nd February 2018 (not including results for that day)

Written by Tris Burke



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