Sports

Premier League Matchday 33 weekend preview: Fixtures, team news, predictions

The English league is nearing its climax with 5 rounds of matches left after this week’s round. The fight for a European spot continues to heat up as teams like Sheffield United and Arsenal are finally back to their fine form and could push all the way to the end.

Chelsea cannot afford another slip up after they lost during the midweek run of games against West Ham affording Manchester United the chance to close the gap between them to just 2 points.

Leicester City are finally retreating to their normal state as a bad run of games puts their top-four hopes in jeopardy. If they must qualify for a spot in the Champions League, they would need to get a fine run of games till the end of the season.

Fixtures

Saturday 4th July 2020

  • Norwich 12:30 Brighton
  • Leicester 15:00 Crystal Palace
  • Man Utd 15:00 Bournemouth
  • Wolves 17:30 Arsenal
  • Chelsea 20:00 Watford

Team News

Norwich vs Brighton

Norwich City’s defender, Timm Klose, is back after a one-match ban and is available for selection for today’s game at the Carrow Road but Moritz Leitner won’t play again this season because of a hernia problem.

Grant Hanley, Christoph Zimmermann, and Sam Byram are long-term absentees.

Brighton will assess the fitness of defender Adam Webster, who missed Tuesday’s defeat by Manchester United with a hamstring injury ahead of the game.

Davy Propper has overcome the minor calf issue that led to his substitution during that match and might be available for selection.

Stats and Facts heading into the game

  • Norwich has won seven of the last 10 meetings between them in all competitions, drawing one and losing two.
  • Brighton’s 2-0 win in November’s return fixture was their first top-flight encounter since 1983.
  • Norwich has lost five straight games in all competitions, their worst run under Daniel Farke.
  • They have also lost six of their past seven Premier League matches, failing to score in each defeat.
  • The Canaries have failed to score in eight of their most recent 11 top-flight matches and could go three home games without a goal for the first time in the Premier League.
  • They scored nine goals in their first five league fixtures this season but have since only managed 16 in 27 matches.
  • They are winless in eight Premier League away games, drawing the last four.
  • Albion’s tally of one Premier League win in 2020 is the fewest in the division.
  • The Seagulls have failed to score in four of their past five league matches.
  • Top scorer Teemu Pukki is on a 10-match goalless run.
  • Brighton has only won one of their past 13 matches in all competitions (D7, L5), keeping just two clean sheets.

Leicester vs Crystal Palace

Leicester midfielder James Maddison is doubtful after aggravating a hip complaint in midweek, but Ayoze Perez, Demarai Gray and Kelechi Iheanacho are all under consideration to start.

Defenders Ricardo Pereira and Daniel Amartey are long-term absentees.

Crystal Palace are boosted by the return of Christian Benteke after a two-match absence because of injury.

Martin Kelly has stepped up his fitness but remains on the sidelines alongside James Tomkins and Jeffrey Schlupp.

Leicester plays Crystal Palace this weekend

Stats and Facts heading into the game

  • Leicester’s 2-0 win in the reverse fixture ended a four-match losing streak against the Eagles.
  • Palace has won on their past two visits to the King Power Stadium, scoring seven goals in the process.
  • The past seven meetings have produced 24 goals.
  • Leicester have earned just seven points from their past eight league matches (W1, D4, L3), with only the current bottom four of Norwich, Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Watford faring worse over the same period.
  • They have recorded just two home league victories in eight attempts (D3, L3).
  • Since the restart, Leicester has scored twice from 41 goal attempts – a conversion rate of just 4.9%. They had the second-highest conversion rate of 14.3% prior to lockdown.
  • Only Manchester City have scored more goals in the last 10 minutes of league matches than the Foxes’ tally of 13.
  • Twelve of Leicester’s 16 league wins have come against sides currently in the bottom half of the table.
  • Jamie Vardy scored 26 goals in his opening 28 league appearances under Brendan Rodgers but has found the net only twice in 11 games since then.
  • Vardy’s next goal will be his 100th in the Premier League.
  • Palace has lost consecutive games without scoring, having previously managed four straight wins without conceding.
  • The Eagles have won just two of their past nine away league matches.
  • They are the only side yet to score more than twice in any of their 32 Premier League fixtures.
  • Roy Hodgson’s men have recorded just two wins in 15 games against the current top-10 clubs (D4, L9).
  • The Eagles have scored nine first-half goals, the fewest in the division.
  • Wilfried Zaha has scored five goals and provided four assists versus Leicester, his highest goal involvement against a particular opponent.

Manchester United vs Bournemouth

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted at making changes to his starting line-up in order to give some players a rest. Bruno Fernandes might be rested in today’s fixture.

Defenders Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones remain injured, so teenager Ethan Laird has been promoted to the senior squad.

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said he will need to check on the fitness of two unnamed players.

Leading goalscorer Callum Wilson remains unavailable as he completes a two-match suspension.

 

Stats and Facts heading into the game

  • Manchester United are unbeaten at home against Bournemouth in all competitions, winning seven and drawing one.
  • However, Bournemouth are vying to complete their first league double over Manchester United following a 1-0 victory at home in November.
  • United’s 15-match unbeaten run in all competitions (W11, D4) is their longest since a streak of 17 games without defeat between November 2016 and January 2017.
  • They’re looking to win four consecutive home league matches without conceding for the first time since a run of six ending in October 2017.
  • The Red Devils can keep a clean sheet in six successive home fixtures in all competitions for the first time since October to December 2015.
  • United have kept eight clean sheets in their past 13 league games – one more than in their first 40 fixtures under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
  • Mason Greenwood’s six goals in 2019-20 is the most by a player aged 18 or younger in a Premier League season since Wayne Rooney scored nine for Everton in 2003-04.
  • Bruno Fernandes has been directly involved in eight goals in his first eight league games for United, scoring five and setting up three.
  • Bournemouth has lost 10 of their last 11 Premier League away fixtures.
  • The Cherries have suffered 16 defeats in 21 league matches, including each of the last four.
  • Eddie Howe’s side is enduring a run of seven straight away defeats in the league.
  • It’s 15 league games without a clean sheet for Bournemouth, their longest such run since a 21-match streak between April and October 1994.
  • They haven’t scored a league goal from open play in five hours and 51 minutes. An unrivaled 53% of their 30 goals this season have come via set-pieces.

Wolves vs Arsenal

Wolves head coach, Nuno Espirito Santo, has a fully-fit squad ahead of his 150th match in charge of Wolves.

Adama Traore is the player most likely to break into a settled side, having started Wolves’ previous home fixture against Bournemouth.

Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira is available after recovering from an ankle injury.

Head coach, Mikel Arteta, must decide whether to recall Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi to his matchday squad.

Arsenal players celebrating after scoring a goal

Stats and Facts heading into the game

  • Wolves are undefeated in the past three meetings (W1, D2).
  • Victory in the corresponding fixture last season ended Wolves’ 20-game winless run in all competitions against the Gunners, which stretched back to 1979.
  • Arsenal has won eight of their past 11 matches in all competitions.
  • However, they are winless in their 17 most recent Premier League away games against sides starting the day above them in the table (D5, L12).
  • The Gunners are attempting to secure back-to-back away league victories for the first time since August.
  • Arsenal has only won three of their 16 top-flight away fixtures this season.
  • They can keep three successive Premier League clean sheets for the first time since November 2017.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang needs one goal to become only the second Arsenal player to score 20 goals in consecutive Premier League seasons, emulating Thierry Henry.
  • Wolves are on an eight-match unbeaten Premier League run, winning five, drawing three, and keeping seven clean sheets.
  • They can win four consecutive top-flight fixtures for the first time from December 1971 to January 1972.
  • Wolves are the only side with a 100% winning record in the Premier League since football’s resumption.
  • Nuno Espirito Santo’s side has gone 405 minutes without conceding a goal and can equal the club top-flight record of five consecutive clean sheets, set in 1959 and matched in 1981.
  • They have drawn seven home games this season, the joint-most in the division.

Chelsea vs Watford

Chelsea will be without midfielder Mateo Kovacic, who has an Achilles injury, for today’s game against Watford.

Head coach, Frank Lampard, has also confirmed that young defender Fikayo Tomori remains on the sidelines.

Watford trio Andre Gray, Nathaniel Chalobah, and Domingos Quina have been recalled after being omitted last week for disciplinary reasons.

Gerard Deulofeu, Daryl Janmaat and Isaac Success are the Hornets’ only certain absentees.

Stats and Facts heading into the game

  • Watford has won only one and lost 13 of their past 17 meetings with Chelsea in league and cup.
  • Chelsea hasn’t lost in 12 home meetings with the Hornets since a 5-1 loss in May 1986 (W8, D4).
  • Watford has conceded 11 goals on their last three trips to Stamford Bridge.
  • Chelsea has won three successive home league games.
  • However, the Blues have lost eight home matches in all competitions this term, their most since 1985-86.
  • They have lost 10 league matches in a season for only the second time during the Roman Abramovich era, having been beaten in 12 during the 2015-16 campaign.
  • Chelsea has conceded 29 of their 44 league goals in the second half of games.
  • They have dropped 18 points from winning positions.
  • Tammy Abraham, the club’s 13-goal league top scorer, has failed to score in his last seven appearances.
  • Frank Lampard has finished on the winning team in all five Premier League matches against Watford, four as a player and once as a manager.
  • Lampard celebrates his one-year anniversary as Chelsea boss on the day of the game.
  • Watford has won only one of their last 10 league matches (D3, L6), and are winless in four.
  • They have claimed just two victories in 16 away league games this season (D4, L10) – those triumphs came at fellow strugglers Norwich and Bournemouth.
  • The Hornets have failed to score in eight away matches, including each of the past three.
  • They have scored just three second-half away goals this season.
  • Watford has conceded 17 goals without scoring in their five fixtures away to the current top-six clubs.
  • The Hornets have scored just 29 league goals, with only Crystal Palace and Norwich managing fewer.
  • If selected, Ben Foster will become the eighth player to make 100 Premier League appearances for Watford.

Match Predictions

Norwich 2-1 Brighton
Leicester 1-1  Crystal Palace
Man Utd 3-1 Bournemouth
Wolves 2-2 Arsenal
Chelsea 2-1 Watford