Big, big game as Liverpool host resurgent Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday seeking their first home victory in seven matches in a bid to end their longest ever winless run against an opponent at Anfield. This, after one of the most intriguing MatchWeeks the EPL has yet seen – Man United and Arsenal all but blew their chances for a top-4 finish and in the process gave a down-and-out Chelsea, rooted at No. 6 a lifeline. MW33 of is now history after Chelsea racked up the final win of the weekend beating West Ham at Stamford Bridge to climb into third. The Chelsea crowd decided to give Maurizio Sarri a break on a night that saw his side move into third in the table after recording a third successive victory.
MW33 also saw Mohamed Salah end his six-game drought by scoring in a 3-1 win that sent Liverpool to the top of the table. Man City have a game in hand, making the two-point lead look as precarious as a rabbit in a run full of rabid rottweilers, but rest assured, Jürgen Klopp will take the points ahead of a game in hand. Arsenal’s three-win streak came to a halt at Goodison Park on Sunday as Everton defeated the Gunners 1-0 thanks to a first-half strike from late replacement Phil Jagielka and Wolves crushed Manchester United’s Champions League hopes with a 2-1 win at Molyneux. Fulham lost their English Premier League status after a mauling against Watford and are relegated.
We’re now down to being able to count the remaining EPL MWs on one hand and things could not be more exciting at the top of the table.
City, still with a game in hand, will surely put away Crystal Palace on Sunday night before Chelsea try to do everybody and favour and beat Liverpool at Anfield.
Five rounds remain in the Premier League season and the picture is no clearer at the top of the table.
Liverpool have another test coming up when they host Chelsea at Anfield while City faces Crystal Palace. Arsenal will have another big challenge to their away form with a trip to FA Cup Finalists Watford while Manchester United welcome West Ham United to Old Trafford. MW34 might also have a significant impact on the fight for survival, as Brighton & Hove Albion and Cardiff City play Bournemouth and Burnley on Saturday, respectively, before facing one another in a rearranged game on Tuesday.
We have 11 games this weekend with a postponed Brighton-Cardiff clash on the end of this round giving us the extra match.
GOLDEN BOOT RACE
2018/19 GOAL INVOLVEMENTS
Hazard Leads The Way – The Chelsea winger scored twice against West Ham to edge ahead of Sergio Aguero in his best season for goals and assists
Hazard – 28 (16 goals, 12 assists)
Aguero – 26 (19 goals, 7 assists)
Salah – 25 (18 goals, 7 assists)
Sterling – 24 (15 goals, 9 assists)
Aubameyang – 22 (15 goals, 7 assists)
RESULTS – MATCHWEEK 33
ALAN SHEARER’S TEAM OF THE WEEK – MATCHWEEK 33
WHAT WE LEARNED IN MATCHWEEK 33
A look at the standout statistics from each of the six Premier League fixtures in MW33
Southampton 1-3 Liverpool
Following their comeback victory, Liverpool have now won 16 points from losing positions in the Premier League, the most of any side this season
AFC Bournemouth 1-3 Burnley
Burnley have scored 40 Premier League goals this season. Only in 2009/10, with 42, have they scored more in a single campaign in the competition
Huddersfield Town 1-4 Leicester City
Leicester’s James Maddison has scored three direct free-kick goals in the PL this season, the most by a player in a single campaign since Philippe Coutinho also scored three in 2016/17
Newcastle United 0-1 Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace have won 23 their 39 points away from home, or 59 per cent, the highest such ratio in the division
Everton 1-0 Arsenal
Aged 36 years and 233 days, Everton defender Phil Jagielka is now the oldest player to score a Premier League goal this season
Chelsea 2-0 West Ham United
Chelsea have not lost a home Premier League match on a Monday since December 1994, when they were defeated 3-2 by Man Utd. They have won 12 and drawn three since
MATCHWEEK 34: KEY FACTS
Find out why a victory for Crystal Palace against Man City would complete a rare double and why Chelsea are particularly awkward visitors for Liverpool
Leicester City vs Newcastle United
Jamie Vardy has had a hand in four goals in his last five PL matches against Newcastle, with three strikes and an assist
Tottenham Hotspur vs Huddersfield Town
Spurs could win their first four PL matches against an opponent without conceding a single goal for only the second time, having previously done so against Cardiff City
Brighton & Hove Albion vs AFC Bournemouth
Ryan Fraser has provided more assists away from home this season than any other PL player, with six, and has set up four of AFC Bournemouth’s last eight goals on the road
Burnley vs Cardiff City
Burnley could win a third consecutive top-flight match by two goals or more for the first time since October 1968
Fulham vs Everton
Everton have the chance to win a fourth successive PL match for the first time since September 2016
Southampton vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
Raul Jimenez has been directly involved in 48 per cent of Wolves’ 40 PL goals this season, with 12 strikes and seven assists. Only Eden Hazard, with 49 per cent, has been involved in a higher share of his team’s goals
Manchester United vs West Ham United
West Ham are looking to complete the league double over the Red Devils for the first time since 2006/07, having triumphed 3-1 in the reverse fixture at London Stadium in September
Crystal Palace vs Manchester City
Crystal Palace can achieve a top-flight double over Man City for the first time since 1972/73. Apart from the current top six teams, the last side to beat the Citizens twice in a PL season were Everton in 2010/11
Liverpool vs Chelsea
Liverpool are seeking their first PL home victory over Chelsea in seven matches as they bid to end their longest ever winless run against an opponent at Anfield in the competition
Watford vs Arsenal
Watford could secure a fourth successive top-flight home win within the same season for the first time since 1986 Courtesy – PremierLeague.com
Leicester vs Newcastle
That’s four wins on the trot for Leicester now and all of a sudden they’re up to seventh place.
Facing Newcastle gives them a great opportunity to consolidate that position considering they haven’t had much trouble with the Magpies in the past. Six of the last seven meetings have gone the way of Leicester and on five of those occasions, they have kept Newcastle scoreless.
Spurs vs Huddersfield
No time to enjoy the Champions League win over Manchester City as Tottenham needs to refocus and prepare for the already relegated Huddersfield.
It looks like Spurs will have to do this without Harry Kane, the man responsible for 33% of their goals this season with 24 goals and six assists, not bad when he missed two months back in January with an injury to the same ankle. That was a profitable run for Tottenham though, winning five of the seven games and, let’s be honest, should account for Huddersfield here with the likes of Son, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen all still available.
With 19 goals 33 games this season, it would be a big surprise if Huddersfield scored in this one.
Brighton vs Bournemouth
Brighton still could drop out of the Premier League if their five point buffer over Cardiff erodes but with survival as their sole focus now, it seems like they should be able to hold out.
Both of these sides have lost their last two in the Premier League and the Seagulls have had a week to respond to their FA Cup Semi Final defeat to Manchester City. 22 of their 33 points have come at the Amex Stadium and they should get a win here.
Burnley vs Cardiff
These two sides were very tough to split during their time in the Championship with nine of their 12 clashes ending in draws although Burnley did win the first Premier League meeting back in September.
The Clarets do bring the better form line into this one, winning their last two games over some tough opposition in Wolves and Bournemouth. While a Cardiff win would create plenty of chaos at the bottom end of the table, it’s hard to see them being able to pull that off but a draw here is certainly in play.
Fulham vs Everton
Fulham has lost its last eight games, is already confirmed to be relegated and have not kept a clean sheet since December 30th. Perhaps the only thing they still have left to play for is avoiding being the worst defensive team in a Premier League season.
With 76 goals conceded already, the record for 38 games is 89 set by Derby County in 2007/2008 so Fulham will have to tighten things up at the back.
Everton should win this game if they play anywhere close to the level they were at against Arsenal last weekend.
Southampton vs Wolves
Because of their run in the FA Cup, this will be just the third Premier League game for Wolves since March 11th.
In their last outing for this competition they pulled off an upset win over Manchester United before blowing a 2-0 lead in the FA Cup Semi Final against Watford. Having had a full week to stew over that one, they’ll need to refocus as they take on a Saints side desperate to avoid relegation.
That being said Wolves are the much better team in this matchup and should win here.
Man Utd vs West Ham
From Barcelona to West Ham, Old Trafford backs up from Champions League duty and there’s plenty of desperation to arrest a troubling run of form.
Despite the boost the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought to United, their form line has come crashing back to earth, losing four of their last five matches in all competitions.
We have seen West Ham show their mettle against bigger sides already this season but they are way too inconsistent to know which side will show up this weekend. At home you have to give the edge to United though.
Crystal Palace vs Man City
We might see a few changes for City here but they won’t want to take Palace too lightly. Back in December, they came to the Etihad and left with all three points as an early Christmas present.
This is part of a huge week for City, needing to win this to keep their Premier League title dream alive then come back a few days later to back up turn around a first leg deficit in the Champions League. Not only would all three points for City jump them back up to the top of the league it would put pressure on Liverpool ahead of their clash with Chelsea.
It might not be pretty but you would expect City to put in a professional performance and take care of business here. The goals haven’t been flowing for them lately and you would think if they get to a two goal lead they may sit on it.
Liverpool vs Chelsea
After brushing Porto aside in the Champions League, Liverpool will turn their attentions back to the Premier League where they will either need to match City’s result or gain some ground on them.
It’s been five games since they beat their London rivals, drawing three games and losing two. Their last meeting back in September finished as a 1-1 draw but it’s fair to say the teams have experienced very different seasons since then.
Chelsea has battled, yet still find themselves in contention for a top four finish, while Liverpool needs some help to be crowned as champions.
With such high stakes, both sides will set out to avoid conceding first and foremost setting up a very tight game where one goal could win it.
Watford vs Arsenal
Arsenal’s road wobbles showed up last week against Everton knocking them out of the top four for the first time in a month. If they want to finish in the Champions League positions this season, they will need to find a way to pick up that form with the bulk of their run home away from the comfy confines of the Emirates.
Vicarage Road has not been a happy place to visit lately with Arsenal coming unstuck in two of their last three visits there. Watford will be full of confidence after pulling off a comeback for the ages in their FA Cup Semi Final and until Arsenal show they can win on the road, expect them to drop points here.
Brighton vs Cardiff
*RESCHEDULED MW31 MATCH*
A game a few weeks in the making, Brighton and Cardiff get to face off after this game was postponed from its original March date.
This is a six pointer in every sense of the word with Brighton one of the few sides Cardiff can still catch.
Having this game at the Amex Stadium is huge for Brighton especially having to back up from their weekend commitments.
It’s a brave call backing either of these sides but with Premier League survival at stake, the fans getting behind their team could make the difference.
With the Premier League title likely to be decided between Manchester City and Liverpool, the race to a third and fourth finish is on a knife-edge as Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea all have a chance to secure an all-important Champions League spot.
(Currently: Played 33, 66 points)
Manchester United (A)
Leicester City (A)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (4th)
(Currently: Played 32, 64 points)
Manchester City (A)
West Ham United (H)
Crystal Palace (H)
(Currently: Played 32, 63 points)
Crystal Palace (H)
Leicester City (A)
Wolverhampton Wanderers (A)
MANCHESTER UNITED (6th)
(Currently: Played 32, 61 points)
West Ham United (H)
Manchester City (H)
Cardiff City (H)
This is the week that decides the fate of the table. Not MatchWeek has been more important for both ends of the table and especially the Top-4. Only time will tell how MW35 will look like.
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