Super 8 Fantasy News

[EPL] MatchWeek 14 – Winter Is Coming

The holiday season is here and Premier League fixtures get crowded together like a mob of last-minute gift shoppers. The schedules become jam packed awfully soon and starting this weekend, eight MatchWeeks (14-21) are shoehorned into six on the calendar, December 1st through January 3rd. On top of that, many of the clubs have extra competitions such as Champions League, Europa League, and Carabao Cup to contend with. And then the top-flight sides immediately enter the FA Cup in 3rd round action on their weekend “off” (January 5th) to bookend the madness. If you go back and add in Week 13 for the teams playing Champions League this week, it’s a head-spinning number of contests in such a short period of time. Throw in the threat of snow cancellations in this fast and furious festive period, and it’s all awfully complex.

Two big city rivalries will take the Premier League spotlight in MW14 as Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Everton brace themselves for derby fixtures on Sunday. The Gunners will entertain Spurs at the Emirates Stadium before Marco Silva takes Everton to Anfield, hoping to end the Toffees’ eight-year wait for a win over their Merseyside rivals.

Liverpool sit two points off leaders Manchester City, who play host to Bournemouth on Saturday. Manchester United travel to Southampton that evening and are out to end their two-match winless run in the league. Claudio Ranieri will also make his return to former club Chelsea as Fulham boss, having clinched a dramatic 3-2 win over Southampton in his first game in charge.

MW14 also sees the return of Friday night football as two of last season’s Championship participants, Cardiff City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, are reacquainted in the Welsh capital.

MATCHWEEK 14 – SCHEDULE

MatchWeek 14 Points Table

MatchWeek 14 Stats: Marco Silva targets historic victory at Anfield
Silva can be the first Everton manager to win his debut league match away to Liverpool and other standout facts about each match

Cardiff vs Wolves
Wolves could become the first team to seal an away win against a fellow promoted side in 21 such PL contests
Crystal Palace vs Burnley
Burnley are targeting their first December top-flight away victory in 22 attempts, having last won on the road in this month in 1969
Huddersfield Town vs Brighton
Huddersfield have scored three goals against Brighton in the Premier League and they have all been scored by Steve Mounie. The last player to score a club’s first four PL goals against an opponent was Yakubu for Blackburn Rovers against Swansea City. Ian Rush holds the record after scoring Liverpool’s first five against Manchester City
Leicester vs Watford
Leicester are aiming to maintain their 100 per cent record in PL home matches against Watford, having won four, scored eight goals, conceding only one
Man City vs AFC Bournemouth
Raheem Sterling can be the first player to score in his first six PL appearances against an opponent, having netted in all five of his matches for City against AFC Bournemouth
Newcastle vs West Ham
Newcastle have won their last three PL matches against West Ham United and can equal the four-match winning run they achieved against them between September 1993 and March 1995
Southampton vs Man Utd
If Man Utd fall behind against Southampton they will be confident of rallying to win, having done so eight times against them in the Premier League, a joint record
Chelsea vs Fulham
Claudio Ranieri could become the first former Chelsea manager to win on his return to Stamford Bridge in 14 Premier League matches
Arsenal vs Spurs
Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have both found the net in 34 PL north London derbies, more than in any other fixture in the competition
Liverpool vs Everton
Marco Silva can become the first Everton manager to win his first league match against Liverpool at Anfield, stretching back to the clubs’ first meeting in November 1894. He can also be the first to win his first PL Merseyside derby since Joe Royle in November 1994 Courtesy – PremierLeague.com

Game Review – Our Super 8
Cardiff vs Wolves
The promoted sides will battle it out on Friday night as 19th-placed Cardiff City host 11th-placed Wolves. Neil Warnock’s men suffered their ninth defeat of the season – and third in four matches – last Saturday, going down 1-0 at Everton. The Bluebirds have won just twice this season, beating Fulham and Brighton, with both of those wins coming at home.

After such a bright start to the season, Wolves find themselves slipping down the table, having gone five games without a win, losing four times. But a meeting with the Welsh side, who are many pundits’ favourites to go down, gives Nuno Espirito Santo’s side a good opportunity to get their season back on track.
Our Super 8
Cardiff: Neil Etheridge, Callum Paterson, Josh Murphy, Bobby Reid
Wolves: Rui Patricio, Matt Doherty, Raul Jimenez, Rúben Neves

Crystal Palace vs Burnley
Crystal Palace host Burnley on Saturday with both sides desperate to end their long winless spells. Roy Hodgson’s side have gone eight games without a win, while Sean Dyche’s men are winless in six matches. To be fair, the Eagles have faced four of the ‘big six’ sides in their last four fixtures. They drew with Arsenal, suffered back-to-back losses against Chelsea and Tottenham, and held United to a goalless draw at Old Trafford last Saturday.
Our Super 8
Crystal Palace: Wayne Hennessy, Patrick van Aanholt, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Wilfried Zaha
Burnley: Joe Hart, Sam Vokes, Chris Wood, Johann Berg Gudmundsson

Huddersfield vs Brighton
Huddersfield welcome Brighton to the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday. David Wagner’s side will be hoping to pick up where they left off last month, collecting seven points from nine games, having beaten Fulham and Wolves in between a 1-1 draw against West Ham.

Brighton, on the other hand, will be eager to put last month’s results behind them where they suffered back-to-back defeats against Everton and Cardiff, before drawing 1-1 with Leicester. The Terriers are in better form here though.
Our Super 8
Huddersfield: Phillip Billing, Aaron Mooy, Steve Mounie, Laurent Depoitre
Brighton: Mat Ryan, Shane Duffy, Glen Murray, Lewis Dunk

Leicester vs Watford
Leicester City host Watford at the King Power Stadium on Saturday. Claude Puel’s side are 10th in the Premier League with 18 points, two behind Watford who sit ninth. The Foxes battled to a 1-1 stalemate away to Brighton last Saturday – their second straight draw and third in four games – with James Maddison sent off for diving. Maddison will be eligible to play against the Hornets after missing the Carabao Cup clash with Southampton on Tuesday.

Javi Gracia’s side will be hoping to start December off on a high note after picking up just one point from nine last month. They were beaten 1-0 at Newcastle and drew 1-1 at Southampton, before being thumped 3-0 on their turf by Liverpool last time out. 
Our Super 8
Leicester: Kasper Schmeichel, James Maddison, Ben Chilwell, Jamie Vardy
Watford: Ben Foster, Isaac Success, Abdoulaye Doucouré, Roberto Pereyra

Man City vs Bournemouth
Free-scoring Manchester City welcome Bournemouth to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. Pep Guardiola’s side recorded their 11th victory of the Premier League season – and eighth successive win in all competitions – last Saturday as they stormed to a 4-0 win at West Ham.

Bournemouth, on the other hand, succumbed to their third straight defeat as they lost 2-1 at home to Arsenal. 
Our Super 8
Man City: Fabian Delph, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero
Bournemouth: David Brooks, Joshua King, Ryan Fraser, Callum Wilson

Newcastle vs West Ham 
Expect a tight affair at St. James’ Park on Saturday as 13th-placed Newcastle and 14th-placed West Ham battle for points. Both sides come into this match in identical form with three wins, three draws and seven defeats apiece.

However, Rafa Benitez’s side are the in-form team coming into this tie, going unbeaten in four matches with three wins on the spin. Manuel Pellegrini’s side, however, have just one win in seven games and come off a heavy 4-0 loss away to West Ham. 
Our Super 8
Newcastle: Paul Dummett, Ayoze Perez, Salomon Rondon, Joselu
West Ham: Grady Diangana, Felipe Anderson, Fabian Balbuena, Marko Arnautovic

Southampton vs Man Utd.
Manchester United have an excellent opportunity to return to winning ways when they travel to 18th-placed Southampton on Saturday night. The Saints are winless in nine matches, suffering five defeats, and have just one Premier League victory this season.

Jose Mourinho’s men are seventh in the table, seven points behind fourth-placed Chelsea. United were held to a goalless draw at Old Trafford last Saturday against a Crystal Palace side who have now not won in eight games in all competitions. Mourinho’s men can’t afford to drop any more points and need to bounce back to winning ways here.
Our Super 8
Southampton: Alex McCarthy, Stuart Armstrong, Danny Ings, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
Man Utd: Luke Shaw, Marouane Fellaini, Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku

Chelsea vs Fulham
The first of three derbies on Sunday sees Chelsea host Fulham in an all-London affair. The Blues’ unbeaten start to the season came to a crashing end last Saturday as they were outclassed 3-1 by Tottenham at Wembley. Maurizio Sarri was left fuming at his players and he’ll demand an improved performance against Fulham.

Claudio Ranieri made a successful return to the Premier League by guiding the Whites to a 3-2 win at home to Southampton. The former Leicester boss will aim to build on that win, but Chelsea should prove too strong at home. 
Our Super 8
Chelsea: Marcos Alonso, Antonio Rudiger, Alvaro Morata, Eden Hazard
Fulham: Ryan Sessegnon, Calum Chambers, Andre Schurrle, Aleksandar Mitrovic

Arsenal vs Spurs
One of England’s fiercest and longest-standing rivalries commences this Super Sunday as Arsenal host Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium. What a way to kick-start the jam-packed festive season of football. The Gunners come into this tie after a superb run of 12 Premier League games without defeat, while Spurs are off the back of another London derby, in which they bulldozed their way past Chelsea, humbling the Blues to a 3-1 defeat.

For both sides, this is undoubtedly their biggest game in the calendar year, but it seems that this fixture is one that Arsenal have favoured in recent times – with Spurs failing to beat the Gunners in their last eight visits to the Emirates Stadium. This will be Unai Emery’s first North London derby as Gunners boss, while Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping his experience in this fixture can distance his Tottenham side six points clear of Arsenal.
Our Super 8
Arsenal: Bernd Leno, Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka,Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Spurs: Serge Aurier, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Harry Kane

Liverpool vs Everton
MW14 closes out with the first Merseyside derby of the season, with Liverpool hosting Everton at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp’s side remain unbeaten in the Premier League and come into this tie off an emphatic 3-0 win at Watford, their 10th victory in the league. Everton have been impressive under Marco Silva this season.

The Toffees are unbeaten in their last three league games, beating Brighton and Cardiff at home in between a goalless draw at Chelsea. Everton haven’t beaten Liverpool at Anfield since 1999 and Klopp’s side should come out on top this Sunday. 
Our Super 8
Liverpool: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Roberto Firmino, Xherdan Shaqiri, Mo Salah
Everton: Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Richarlison

Though MW14 has some cracking matches lined up, Sunday’s north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium easily takes the cake. Spurs are on a six-game winning run in all competitions that now includes the scalps of Chelsea in MW13 and Inter Milan in the Champions League this week. 

Remember the old Tottenham Hotspur? The Spurs that finished second and third in the Premier League, that ripped opponents – good opponents – to shreds with their relentless pressing from the front? The Spurs that wiped Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid off the pitch when they came to town? The Spurs where Harry Kane would score from nowhere, and Dele Alli would ghost in before defenders could even see him?

Tottenham this season have not been bad. They started the Chelsea game in fifth place. But they have not been like that. They have been grinding out results, winning ugly, and scraping past lesser teams. The focus has been more on the stadium delays and debt, and the lack of signings, than on the football itself. But not on the weekend. The Chelsea game was Spurs’ best performance of the season by a distance, their best since they beat Real Madrid 3-1 at Wembley more than one year ago. And that scoreline, emphatic enough in itself, does absolutely nothing to convey the extent of Spurs’ dominance.

Though this promises to be an epic encounter, Arsenal should take it home. They’ve shown great character and fight this season and have been a joy to watch at times. The combination of Lacazette and Aubameyang have been outstanding, although, in derby games, the winner usually comes from an unlikely scorer, so expect the unexpected!

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