Premier League Preview Week 15
With fixtures now coming thick and fast as the Christmas season approaches, the Premier League is shaping up nicely as the calendar year closes in.
On Saturday night, the Manchester derby takes place and Pep Guardiola’s City will be full off confidence after a big win mid-week, while United are still struggling under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, despite getting one up over their old boss. Mourinho’s Spurs were flying high until they were brought back down to earth by UTD on Wednesday. They take on Burnley, who are going through a difficult patch themselves, while Newcastle and Southampton face each other with both sides looking to secure more points to edge away even further from the relegation zone.
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Tottenham v Burnley
Tottenham suffered their first loss under Jose Mourinho against Manchester United on Wednesday, but their form has improved recently. Since the Portuguese manager took over, Spurs have won three of the last four in all competitions, scoring 11 and conceding eight.
Burnley have been inconsistent recently, they have won two in their last seven, but have lost their last two fixtures, conceding six goals and scoring just one. This dip in form has seen Sean Dyche’s side fall to 11th in the league.
Spurs are still without long term absentees Hugo Lloris (elbow), Erik Lamela (thigh), Michel Vorm (calf) and Ben Davies (ankle) who are all currently in the rehabilitation stage of their recovery. Ashley Westwood is suspended for Burnley and Johann Berg Guðmundsson is still out long term with a thigh strain.
Tottenham lost mid-week, but their revival under Mourinho has picked up some momentum while Burnley are struggling at present so Spurs should run out as comfortable winners in this match.
Tottenham – 2/5
Draw – 15/4
Burnley – 6/1
Manchester City v Manchester United
Although Manchester City are third, Pep Gaurdiola will be disappointed with the amount of points his side have dropped this season. City beat Burnley comfortably mid-week, but the loss to Liverpool last month and back to back draws with Newcastle and Shakhtar Donetsk in their last five will be a cause for concern.
Manchester United were back to their best against Spurs on Wednesday and are now sixth after going four games unbeaten in the Premier League. Despite some consistent form, Solskjaer’s side are still unconvincing having conceded nine in their last five. Their last clean sheet came at the end of October against Partizan Belgrade.
Leroy Sané is still out long term with an ACL injury and Sergio Agureo (thigh) and Aymeric Laporte (knee) will still be unavailable. Marcos Rojo could return for Manchester United this weekend, but Eric Bailly (knee), Diogo Dalot (groin) and Tomothy Fosu-Mensah (knee) are still out until late December
A year ago, this would have been a certain City win, but the slight form of United and City’s points dropping could see a tight game so a score draw could be expected for this fixture.
Manchester City – 3/10
Draw – 17/4
Manchester United – 9/1
Aston Villa v Leicester
Aston Villa picked up two excellent results before their mid-week loss to Chelsea, drawing with Man United and comfortably beating Newcastle. However, their form is not great recently as the win against Newcastle was their only victory in five fixtures but they have managed to score eight goals in their last six.
Leicester continued their blistering start to the season on Wednesday as they comfortably beat Watford. The win was the Foxes’ eighth in a row and they have only lost twice all season. The last time Leicester failed to score in a match was in the 1-0 loss to Man United in mid-September.
Anwar El Ghazi and Jota Peleteiro could be in contention for Villa but Jed Steer (calf) and Keinan Davis (thigh) remain out. Demarai Gray should return for Leicester after recovering from a virus, but Matty James is still out long term with a calf injury.
Aston Villa have performed well on a number of occasions this season, but they’ve been unfortunate and could be higher in the league. But Leicester are in incredible form and don’t look like easing up as the Christmas fixtures start to pile up so they will secure another three points this weekend.
Aston Villa – 10/3
Draw – 3/1
Leicester – 8/11
Newcastle v Southampton
After a poor start to the season, Steve Bruce’s Newcastle are slowly gaining some momentum. They have only lost once in their last five and have earned vital points against Manchester City, Bournemouth and West Ham recently. But they are one of the lowest scorers in the league.
Southampton climbed out of the relegation zone on Wednesday after beating Norwich 2-1. The Saints are picking up some form after gaining seven points from their last nine available. Danny Ings has been key to their revival, scoring nine goals in his last ten matches.
Jamal Lascelles is still out for a couple of weeks with a knee injury and Stuart Armstrong remains out for Southampton with a hamstring injury.
This will be a tight fixture as both teams will be well aware that a loss could put them right back into relegation trouble. Both teams have looked solid in recent weeks so a draw is the most likely outcome here.
Draw – 9/4
Southampton – 13/8
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