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EPL GW-20 Pre-Deadline Chat & Live Chat

Uncertainties continue as two more games get postponed in GW-20

Riyad Mahrez - Manchester City - Premier League Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

With all other major European leagues on break, the Premier League continues to soldier on, providing entertainment for fans all over the world despite the outbreaks of Covid among players and staff. GW-20 commences less than 24 hours after the completion of GW-19, which saw Man United share the spoils with relegation-threatened Newcastle at St James Park.

Uncertainty continues to cloud Premier League matches as more new cases are being detected on daily basis and matches are being postponed due to insufficient players to field a Premier League match.

Two GW-20 fixtures have already been postponed: Arsenal vs Wolves, Leeds vs Aston Villa. More are still in danger depending on each day’s tests. FPL managers are advised to wait for as long as possible to hear the latest pre-deadline news before finalizing transfers as more matches might still get postponed — But beware of server overload in the very last minute as millions (try to) do the same. I envy those who have their 1st-half wildcard chips in play — They can rework their rosters and then react to news as it happens and rework them again. Ahhhh... It must be nice!


Crystal Palace vs Norwich

Palace looks to bounce back from a Boxing Day loss to Tottenham by they welcoming bottom side Norwich to Selhurst Park on Tuesday. Patrick Viera’s side had to play the majority of the match with ten men after striker Wilfred Zaha got himself sent off in the first half. The defeat dropped the Eagles to 12th in the table.

Norwich made it four losses in four, outclassed by Arsenal at Carrow Road. The 5-nil defeat was also the fourth straight game in which the Canaries have failed to score.

Injuries and doubts

Wilfred Zaha won’t be available for this fixture after he was shown two yellow cards against Tottenham. Christian Benteke , Luka Milivojevic and Eberechi Eze are all out with Covid. For Norwich, Grant Harley, Christoph Zimmerman, Andrew Omobamidele, Milot Rahica and Tim krul are all out of this fixture.

Prediction: 3-0

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Southampton vs Tottenham

Southampton snapped a six-game winless run by defeating West Ham away from home in the last round. The Saints showed resilience in the victory by going ahead thrice before sitting back and soaking up pressure as West Ham threw everything at them towards the end. The victory elevated the Saints to 14th.

Antonio Conte continued his impressive turnaround at Spurs with a three-nil victory over London rival Palace. The victory extended Spurs’ undefeated run to six. Tottenham is currently sixth, six points behind the arch-rival Gunners who occupy the final Champions League spot and have three games in hand.

Injuries and doubts

No new injuries to report.

Prediction: 0-2

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Watford vs West Ham

Watford hopes to field a GW-20 team after missing three straight matches. The Hornets hope their enforced break and freshness will get the better of a West Ham side still reeling from an unexpected home defeat to Southampton. The Hornets are currently two points above Burnley in 18th place but have played one game more.

The Hammers suffered their second straight defeat when they allowed the Saints to get the better of them at London Stadium on Boxing Day. The loss pulled the Hammers down below rivals Tottenham, Man United and Arsenal in the race for top-four places. The Hammers will however be buoyed by Michail Antonio’s return to action, which saw him grab a goal in the encounter against Southampton.

Injuries and doubts

Declan Rice will miss the match against Watford after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Southampton.

Prediction: 2-2

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Leicester vs Liverpool

The Foxes continue a tough run of fixtures by welcoming Jurgen Klopp’s rampant Liverpool side to King Power Stadium. Brendan Rodgers’ side could do nothing to stop Man City, overpowered 6-3 at the Etihad. The defeat continued the Foxes’ season of inconsistency that sees them currently placed tenth.

Liverpool comes into this match refreshed after a Boxing Day scratch due to Leeds’ inability to field a minimum number of players. Klopp’s side will be fired up to close the gap with league leading Man City as key players Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Nabi Keita prepare to depart for the African Cup of Nations after GW-21

Injuries and doubts

Striker Patson Daka and Harvey Barnes are both ruled out for Leicester while Liverpool might welcome back Virgil van Dijk who was seen back in training after finishing Covid isolation.

Prediction: 1-3

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Chelsea vs Brighton

Chelsea returned to winning ways on Boxing Day with Romelu Lukaku off the bench grabbing the winning second goal. The victory ended a rough patch in which the Blues won just one of four games. They are currently six points behind league-leading Man City.

Brighton’s two-nil victory over Brentford put an end to the Seagulls’ seven-game winless streak. Brighton’s eight draws this season equals Southampton and Burnley for most stalements this season.

Injuries and doubts

Leandro Trossard is a doubt after picking up a knock against Brentford; Yves Bissouma will miss this match after picking up his fifth yellow card in the encounter against the Bees.

Prediction: 2-0

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Brentford vs Man City

Does it get any tougher? Brentford welcomes Pep Guardiola’s Man City to Brentford Community Stadium after an away defeat to Brighton. The Bees have lost their way since their early season showings that saw them as high as seventh in the table. Inconsistent showings in recent weeks have dropped them to 13th, nine points above Burnley in the top relegation spot.

Man City will be eager to maintain the momentum from comfortably dispatching Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester at the Etihad. The 6-3 victory brought the Citizens to 50 goals scored this season, joint highest with Liverpool. The Citizens’ run of nine straight victories has taken them over Chelsea and Liverpool into first place, leaving Liverpool six points behind with one game in hand.

Injuries and doubts

Christain Norgaard is suspended after picking up his 5th yellow card, and Bryan Mbeumo is a doubt after picking up calf injury.

Prediction: 0-5

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Everton vs Newcastle

Everton is eager to grab a much-needed win to relieve the pressure on under-fire manager Rafa Benitez. A win end the Toffees’ run of two straight defeats. Striker Calvert Lewin’s return might just be the addition needed to add the extra bite to the club’s numb attack.

Newcastle once again dropped points from a winning position when Edinson Cavani scored United’s equalizer in the Monday encounter at St James Park. The Magpies have dropped more points from winning position this season (19) than any other EPL side. A win for Newcastle would be just their second this season.

Injuries and doubts

After recovering from long-term injury, Dominic Calvert Lewin is expected to play some part for Everton. Isaac Hayden is expected back for Newcastle after serving his one match suspension. Strikers Saint Maximin and Wilson picked up injuries in the match against Man United and await evaluations.

Prediction: 1-1

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Man United vs Burnley

Man United hopes to produce a better display than at St James Park where the Red Devils were lucky to nick a point. They were nowhere near their best in the fixture, inability to string simple passes together mocking the progress claimed since Ralf Ragnick’s appointment.

Burnley hopes to finally return to action for the first time in four game-weeks after three scratches due to snow and Covid. Burnley’s last Premier League match was a scoreless draw against West Ham on December 10. Sean Dyche can hope that two weeks’ rest will come in handy at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Injuries and doubts

Maxwel Cornet and Dale Stephens are both expected back for Burnley after recovering from Covid.

Prediction: 1-1


What are your predictions for this game-week? Whom are you backing in the Leicester vs Liverpool fixture? Please join us in our FPL & Fantrax virtual pub (comments below) as we face our deadlines, post the lineups and share late-breaking news.

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Sources from premierleague.com, https://www.premierinjuries.com/injury-table.php

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