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Football News: Premier League Match Previews Sunday 29th October 2017

Premier League Match Previews Sunday 29th October 2017
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Sunday 29th October 2017


Brighton and Hove Albion v Southampton 1:30pm kick off

Sidwell (back injury no return date yet) out
Baldock (fitness after long injury lay-off) slight doubt
Kayal (fitness issues) slight doubt

Brighton are so far performing above all expectations, sitting in midtable in the Premier League with no current relegation worries. They have been particularly impressive at home with 2 wins out of 4 there, but it is far too early for the Seagulls to relax just yet. Their defence is excellent but they are, like so many this season in the Premier League, struggling for goals. Facing a team in a similar position it is really not an enticing prospect for the viewer. However Brighton have been much better to watch than the bare statistics would suggest, especially in their wins and they have their first away win, last week against West Ham, to build on.
Most important player: Lewis Dunk. The big centre back has been key to the team's success so far this season. His performances have set the tone for Brighton so far.


Lemina (ankle injury expected return 4th November) out
Pied (knock expected return 4th November) out

You could be forgiven for thinking Saints are an exciting team to watch if all you have seen is Sofiane Boufal's goal last week. The quality of the rest of their play this season is nowhere near that level of quality or excitement. It is mostly slow, cumbersome passing, interspersed with the headless chicken running of Shane Long up front. The one saving grace this season has been Mario Lemina, who has stood out like a beacon with quality, pace and movement. Unfortunately he has been ruled out of this game by the club due to inury. Even with him in the side, Soton have scored just 8 goals in 9 games and conceded 9. They are very rarely an exciting watch, as you can imagine.
Most important player: Manolo Gabbiadini. With Shane Long alongside him not having scored this season, the goalscoring burden is on Gabbiadini's shoulders.


Defining Battle: Southampton have an attacking midfielder who drifts around between the opposition's midfield and defence. Brighton do not usually play a deep lying midfielder who can deal with those kind of threats very easily. They need to find a way to deal with it and not let that player drift free in dangerous areas.


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


Leicester City v Everton 4pm kick off

Huth (foot injury no return date yet) out
James (achilles injury 4th November) out

Will the new manager bounce once more be enough to revive the Foxes' flagging fortunes? Is it really the manager who should be changed each time the players let the club down when those same players can suddenly play much better once the manager is gone? Last weekend's victory over Swansea City was just Leicester's second win of the season in the Premier League. They have gone from being a defensively solid, well-organised unit liable to nick a goal at any moment, to a disorganised bunch of individuals, with huge gaps at the back and little hope of scoring. While some of that can be put down to bad buys, it is clear that the title winning players, other than Okazaki, are not playing with the same intensity and effort they showed a couple of years ago.
Most important player: Shinji Okazaki. He is the only player that can hold his head up high this season. Every time he is picked he plays his heart out and runs his legs off for the team. It is a shame so few of his team mates have a similar attitude.


Schneiderlin (illness) slight doubt
Barkley (hamstring injury expected return 18th November) out
Funes Mori (ACL injury expected return 1st April 2018) out
Coleman (broken leg expected return 1st January 2018) out
Bolasie (ACL injury expected return 1st January 2018) out

Time for caretaker manager David Unsworth to show what he can do and at least do enough to give the Toffees time to find the right manager for the job. The team lacked balance under Ronald Koeman, due to his resistance to trusting the younger players, I doubt Unsworth will have the same worries after his promotion from managing the U23 team. The first job is to move the team clear of the relegation battle that Koeman was dragging the team into. Their team has the quality to be competing in the top half, now it is up to the players to prove that.
Most important player: Tom Davies. Young he may be but Davies is the beating heart of the side. It was his stranding on the sidelines this season that has really cost Everton badly.


Defining Battle: two new managers going head to head makes this game a very difficult one to call. Control of the midfield is vital to the game, that is almost certain to be where this game is won or lost.


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


Editor's Predictions Table
1. Ed018 - 52 points
2. Ed025 - 46 points
3= Ed003 - 45 points
3= Ed007 - 45 points
3= Ed033 - 45 points
6. Ed002 - 40 points
7. Ed004 - 39 points

*1 point is awarded for the correct result, 3 points for the correct score.
**updated 27th October 2017

Written by Tris Burke October 29 2017 04:37:42