Midweek Preview – Tuesday Night Fixtures
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Posted by James Jones | Published on February 29, 2016
Moving into the last stretch of the most unpredictable Premier League season’s we’ve encountered in a long while, we approach game week 28 with this week’s fixtures taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday night.
Aston Villa vs Everton
Roberto Martinez’s men travel to Villa Park aiming to take all 3 points from their hosts on Tuesday night, which should a be one sided match up. Following The Toffee’s long-awaited confirmation of a new majority shareholder in Iranian billionaire Farhad Moshiri, who now holds a 49.9% in the club, Everton currently sit in 12th place but are only 5 points away from a respectable 7th place spot with a game in hand.
As for Aston Villa who are currently keeping the bottom spot of the Premier League warm, Remi Garde will hope his side can turn things around against an inconsistent Everton outfit, creating more chances than they did last weekend, when they registered the fewest amount across the league.
With Everton scoring 8 goals in their last 3 away fixtures and not conceding in the process across all competitions and Aston Villa conceding 10 goals in their last 3 home fixtures and only scoring 2 for themselves it’s set to be a one-sided affair.
Team News: Jordan Ayew returns from suspension for Villa, while Mo Besic will sit this one out while he focuses on returning back to full fitness.
My Prediction: Aston Villa 0-2 Everton
Bournemouth vs Southampton
Going into “The South Coast” derby, Bournemouth will be looking at going one further than gaining a point in the scoreless draw away to Watford at the weekend by winning their first home league fixture against Southampton at The Vitality Stadium in 58 years. Ronald Koeman’s men will be disappointed with the defeat to Chelsea, with Fraser Forster having just set a new record for The Saints, going 708 minutes without conceding a goal, going on to concede 2 goals to last years champions.
Southampton hold the better record in this fixture, winning 5 of the last 6 games against Bournemouth and drawing the other. Bournemouth have only managed to score 8 goals in their last 10 home games, failing to score in 5 of those fixtures. Although Eddie Howe’s men have scored the most goals in the opening 15 minutes of games this season, 8 times, they come up against Forster who has the best save to shot ratio in the Premier League this term at 90%.
Team News: Junior Stanislas could miss this fixture with a hamstring injury, Lewis Grabban and Shane Long will face a late fitness test, with Victor Wanyama still suspended from his 5 match ban.
My Prediction: Bournemouth 1-1 Southampton
Leicester City vs West Bromwich Albion
League leaders and surprise package of the season Leicester host West Brom on Tuesday night at The King Power Stadium. Claudio Ranieri’s Foxes are still 2 points clear at the top of the league, despite looking to be finally losing momentum against Norwich City on Saturday before Leonardo Ulloa found the back of the net in the final few minutes to steal all 3 points. West Brom will be looking to capatalise on their back to back league wins and impressive first-half display against Crystal Palace on Saturday night scoring 3 goals in 29 minutes at The Hawthorns.
West Brom entertain the better record in this match up despite current league postions, being undefeated in their last 6 trips to The King Power Stadium, winning 5 and drawing 1. The Baggies will be looking to win 3 Premier League games in succession for the first time since November 2012, and for the first time under current boss Tony Pulis.
Another interesting statistic Leicester City fans will be looking at closely come the final whistle on Tuesday night is, 10 of the last 12 teams sitting proudly at the top of the Premier League on the 1st March have gone on to lift the title come the end of the season.
Team News: A massive blow for Leicester City as N’Golo Kante has been sidelinded by a hamstring injury for a minimum of 2 weeks. Danny Simpson is available for selection after serving his suspenion following a red card. Chris Brunt will miss this midweek fixture due to a knee injury when he fell awkwardly in the 3-2 win over Crystal Palace. Baggies boss Tony Pulis will hope Jonny Evans will be fit in time to replace Brunt in defence.
My Prediction: Leicetser City 1-1 West Brom
Norwich City vs Chelsea
Having somewhat rescued Chelsea from any more major embarrassment under Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink has been undefeated in the league since taking over Stamford Bridge since December. His Blues sided who have looked a new team under his management, left it late on Saturday to overcome Southampton and clean sheet specialist Forster, scoring twice in the final 15 minutes.
Alex Neil’s will be left majorly disappointed suffering defeat in the final few moments against league leaders Leicester City, but will take some positives from the game regardless. Norwich City fans will be desperate to end their winless 7 league game streak which has taken a major toll on their survival chances, now sitting above the relegation zone just on goal difference.
New signing Steven Naismith enjoys playing against Chelsea, with his record backing that up scoring 6 Premier League goals in 7 games. Although The Canaries have only gained 1 point from their last 7 games, conceding 19 goals in the process. Chelsea will be looking to win 3 league games in a row since April 2015. Guus has only lost 1 game in the Premier League throughout his 23 game management in England. His Blues side also hold the bragging rights, winning 7 and drawing 2 of the last 9 games against Norwich.
Team News: Andre Wisdom will miss the game with a knee injury, with a late call to decided whether Sebastien Bassong and Wes Hoolahan return to the squad. Patrick Bamford is also ineligible to face Chelsea, being his parent club. Hiddink doesn’t want to rush John Terry back from his hamstring injury, so he will miss the game. Pedro is still sidelined with a hamstring injury also. While Alexandre Pato could be available to make his Chelsea debut, 5 weeks after signing for the London club.
My Prediction: Norwich 0-2 Chelsea
Sunderland vs Crystal Palace
All eyes will be on the managers in this cold Tuesday night fixture at The Stadium of Light. Alan Pardew having started the league rather well, has since seen a massive decline in his Palace sides form, and has once again got the fans on his back. Sam Allardyce’s Black Cats currently sit in the middle of the dreaded relegation battle, but a win could see them leap frog fellow battlers and move above Norwich City and bitter rivals Newcastle United.
Sunderland fans will feel disapointed they came away from their new boss’ old stomping ground with nothing but the free vile Green away strip they got as a freebie. Allardyce saw his side miss a number of goalscoring chances and suffered a narrow 1-0 loss against a much improved West Ham side who were far from their best on Saturday. Pardew will hope to carry on from the performance his Palace side put on in during the second-half, showing great character by scoring 2 goals and nearly coming back from the 3 goals they conceded early on in the opening half an hour.
Crystal Palace fans haven’t seen their side win in their last 10 league games, only accumuating 3 points from a possible 30 points via 3 draws. Palace’s defence has gone from being one of the tightest in the league to one of the leakiest, conceding 19 goals in 2016. Sunderland will hope to continue their recent home form, after beating Manchester United, but haven’t won back to back league games at The Stadium of Light since May 2014. Allardyce’s men have won 6 games so far this term, 1 away from their total of 7 last season.
Team News: Sunderland have no new injury worries approaching this game, with Jermaine Lens recovering surgery and expected to return for the next game. Papa Souare is suspended for this fixture, while Jason Puncheon and James McArthur still sidelined with injuries. Good news for Palace fans, Yannick Bolasie could be set to start for the first time since December.
My Prediction: Sunderland 2-1 Crystal Palace
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I’ll be covering Wednesday nights fixtures in my article once Tuesday’s fixtures are finished, so make sure you pop backand have a read.