Mandatory first order of business this morning: Scour team news and tweets to determine if Mo Salah starts on the field or the bench. For a couple million of us, a start on the bench will not alter a Salah captain armband selection. Who can blame such a manager? Salah’s rich purple patch of form can support both the most risk averse and irrational strategies towards a mega points haul.
While we enjoy Liverpool and Stoke this morning, let’s discuss three things to watch today.
The Long Straw
Of the teams in the relegation battle, Southampton have drawn the long straw this week. Stoke and Swansea have fixtures against top six teams, whereas Southampton are at home against Bournemouth, a team still short of the 40-point benchmark but effectively safe. Charlie Austin will be the player to watch, he is able to get the team out of the bottom three. This is a team that many pundits believe has no business fighting relegation, but there they are, just a few weeks away from the Championship that no top-flight team wants.
One More Win
Both Crystal Palace and Huddersfield currently sit on 35 points. I think that one more win for each should cement top flight status for next season. Can they get the job done against opposition having little left to play for? Not to be taken lightly by Huddersfield: the fixture list after today’s game against Everton. That makes today’s a game where three points are imperative. Manchester City, Chelsea, and Arsenal complete the season for David Wagner’s men. Jonas Lossl and his defense need to keep a clean sheet to give the attacking players a chance of scoring a winning goal.
What’s their motivation?
It’s a question for a few teams playing today. Chelsea, Burnley, Everton, Leicester. Have you picked players from these teams? Do you believe they are highly motivated? We will soon find out what type of effort they will put forward today. Chelsea have a chance at the top four, and Burnley may be able to pass Arsenal... We will see how much the managers are able to motivate their charges.
Liverpool vs Stoke
Crystal Palace vs Leicester
Huddersfield vs Everton
Burnley vs Brighton
Southampton vs Bournemouth
Swansea vs Chelsea
What’s on your mind today? Are you happy with the Salah situation? Do you have any “differential” picks going today? Let’s discuss today’s games.