What do we have in store for today? Well, the mouth-watering early Saturday fixture kicks things off smashingly, so there’s no need to dilly-dally with a long intro.
Manchester United v. Liverpool (early game)
If you don’t recall, you may be shocked to learn that the reverse fixture finished nil-nil. We’d love some goals in this one, since Liverpool is second most prolific with 67 scores, and Manchester United (surprise) is third with 56. Jose Mourinho would certainly be happy with another 0-0 finish that would keep the team in second place, so he could park the Red Devil bus. Then we’ll see if Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah can be held in check. Of course, that may prove difficult if central defensive lynchpin Phil Jones misses out again through injury as expected.
Everton v. Brighton
11th place welcomes 10th, so if you’re looking for an even, mid-table match-up, you’ve got it here! Neither team scores much, with Everton notching more than one goal in a game only nine times, and Brighton doing so just seven times, so if you’re hoping for offensive fireworks, you may want to look elsewhere.
Huddersfield v. Swansea
While neither of these teams sits in the relegation zone, this is an honorary “six pointer” as a win for either team would do wonders on the road to securing safety. Huddersfield performed limply at Wembley, but can take a measure of confidence with wins in its two league games prior. Swansea comes in following a rousing 4-1 home win over West Ham. Amazingly, the Swans have been beaten only once in their last 13 games across all competitions (4-1 at Brighton), so this one should be a dog fight. Can the Terriers nip a result on their home turf?
Newcastle v. Southampton
16th place hosts 17th place, so this is an absolutely huge game with respect to the relegation battle. The Magpies are unbeaten in their last four home games in the league, with three draws. It’s the exact same story for the Saints with respect to their road form. So anything but a draw may take some doing.
West Brom v. Leicester
With six straight defeats across all competitions leaving it in a distant last place in the league table, Albion is in absolute desperation mode. Unfortunately, the Hawthorns welcome the 8th place side featuring a high-flying Riyad Mahrez, who seems to have patched things up following the drama of his failed winter transfer exit. West Brom’s hopeful sign: The Foxes have not won in their last five away games in the league.
West Ham v. Burnley
After successive 4-1 away defeats at Swansea and Liverpool, the Hammers will love to see friendly faces at London Stadium. Burnley has not kept a clean sheet in its past eight league games, so West Ham will aim to keep that streak going and add more distance from the drop zone. Of course, the Hammers have scored more than one goal only once in their last six league games, and Burnley have netted the second-fewest goals in the Premiership, so fireworks seem unlikely.
Chelsea v. Crystal Palace (late game)
Normally Chelsea would be a heavy favorite in this affair, but these are tricky times for the Blues. Sitting in fifth place, the three points are vital for the home side, but they could be distracted by upcoming midweek travels to Barcelona for the tough second leg of the Champions League knockout stage. Antonio Conte has been putting Eden Hazard in the false nine role against tough competition, to both critical and popular disappointment. He may be expected to do the same again against Barca, so will he use this as preparation for that match? Or shall he instead start Olivier Giroud or Alvaro Morata up top against less imposing Palace?
The visitors come in after a gut-punch home loss to Manchester United, watching a 2-0 lead vanish amidst a furious Red Devils’ comeback. Sitting in 18th place in a tight relegation fight, the Eagles need to take their chances and will be desperate to claw at least a point from this one.
Which games are you watching today, and how do you expect them to turn out? On whom are you relying for fantasy points? Let us know in the comments!