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Football News: Premier League Match Preview Sunday 11th February 2018

Premier League Match Preview Sunday 11th February 2018
Image from: tdfinearts.com

Injuries
Suspensions
Quick write up
Most important player
Battle that may define the match
Editors' predictions
Editors' Predictions League Table


Sunday 11th February 2018

 


Huddersfield Town v Bournemouth 12:00pm kick off

 

Smith (concussion expected return 17th February) out
Depoitre (foot injury) late fitness test
Schindler (foot injury) late fitness test
Williams (dead leg) slight doubt
Kachunga (MCL injury expected return 10th March) out
Stankovic (ACL injury expected return 24th February) out

This season is turning into a disaster in the last few months, with the Terriers on a horrible run of 5 league defeats in a row. It could be far worse and they are lucky to have put enough points on the board early on to give them every chance of surviving despite the poor form. All they need to do is recover the verve and zest they showed in the early games of the season. The high intensity press they began the season with has vanished and they need to return to it if they are to have any hopes.
Most important player: Philip Billing. Their performances have been flat and lacking energy recently, Billing can provide that missing energy.

 

S. Cook (hamstring injury) late fitness test
A. Smith (thigh strain) late fitness test
Defoe (broken ankle expected return 24th February) out
Mings (back injury) out

Once more Eddie Howe has resurrected his team just as they looked dead and buried and certain to be relegated. It has been 7 league games since they lost and they are sat happily in the top half almost safe. It would be long odds against them not getting enough points to survive from the final few games. Howe will want more than mere survival from this team though, he will be aiming for a top half finish and that is well within reach.
Most important player: Lewis Cook. He is visibly improving over the course of the season and become a key figure in the Cherries' midfield.

 


Defining Battle: it all comes down to Huddersfield living up their nickname and shutting down that midfield like a pack of terriers. They have to get right in the face of their opponents and not allow them time and space to create.

 

Editors' Predictions:
Ed002 - 2-1
Ed003 - 0-1
Ed004 - 0-1
Ed007 - 2-1
Ed018 - 0-1
Ed025 - 0-2
Ed033 - 1-2

 


Newcastle United v Manchester United 2:15pm kick off

 

Diame (knock) slight doubt
Clark (knee injury) slight doubt
Joselu (illness) doubt
Slimani (thigh strain) late fitness test
Gamez (ankle injury) out

They are right in the middle of the relegation battle but they have yet to be able to call on their January signing Islam Slimani, who fills their biggest need if he gets on form. All season long they have been crying out for a goalscorer, with neither Joselu nor Dwight Gayle proving to have the ability to get the goals at Premier League level.
Most important player: Kenedy. His arrival has made a huge difference to the Newcastle team.

 

Rashford (muscle injury) late fitness test
Jones (illness) slight doubt
Fellaini (MCL injury expected return 31st March) out
Blind (ankle injury expected return 17th February) major doubt
Ibrahimovic (knee injury expected return 25th February) out
Bailly (ankle injury expected return 25th February) out

Man Utd are steadily closing on second place, with the odd blip soon followed by their rivals also having bad runs. It does just make you wonder if they were capable of giving Citeh a proper challenge if Jose Mourinho had been braver at times with his tactics. How much did his natural pragmatism cost them, or did that pick up a point that would otherwise have been lost?
Most important player: Paul Pogba. How will the French midfielder respond to being dropped last time out?

 

Defining Battle: Rafa Benitez tends to sit deep and look to hold on against the big boys, looking for counters to get them goals. With Alexis Sanchez creating problems, Pogba likely to be back and Romelu Lukaku's pace and power, will Newcastle be able to hold out and keep them at bay? Can the defence avoid being dragged out wide and leaving gaps for Man Utd to exploit?

 

Editors' Predictions:
Ed002 - 2-3
Ed003 - 1-2
Ed004 - 0-2
Ed007 - 0-2
Ed018 - 0-2
Ed025 - 1-1
Ed033 - 0-2

 


Southampton v Liverpool 4:30pm kick off

 

Austin (hamstring injury expected return 3rd March) out

This season was beginning to look nothing short of disastrous early on, but there have been signs of a turn around in fortunes recently as they have gone 4 unbeaten in the Premier League. Saints now have a chance to pull themselves clear of the drop zone by building on recent results. With virtually a full squad to choose from Mauricio Pellegrino can have no more excuses if Saints do not rescue things.
Most important player: Mario Lemina. The Gabonese midfielder looks to be the one truly quality player in the squad.

 

Moreno (knock) slight doubt
Gomez (knee injury expected return 14th February) major doubt
Klavan (thigh strain) slight doubt
Clyne (back injury expected return 10th March) out

Is this the usual for Liverpool? Are they going to be slow and ponderous against one of the lower half teams and be caught out as they so often are? Questions must be asked about the players mentally, how they can perform at high intensity against a top 6 club and yet be so sluggish against the rest. With the Southampton crowd sure to have their team up for this game, Liverpool can ill afford another off day if they are to have any chance of challenging for 2nd place.
Most important player: Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian can normally be counted on to provide a goal or two.

 

Defining Battle: the key is to get at Liverpool and attack them through the midfield, where they are very open due to a lack of defensive responsibility in there. The midfield fails to track runners and leaves the defence exposed repeatedly. Saints will need to take advantage of that weakness.

 

Editors' Predictions:
Ed002 - 1-2
Ed003 - 2-3
Ed004 - 2-2
Ed007 - 0-2
Ed018 - 2-3
Ed025 - 0-1
Ed033 - 1-2

 



Editor's Predictions Table
1. Ed025 - 169 points
2. Ed018 - 165 points
3. Ed002 - 164 points
4. Ed033 - 158 points
5. Ed004 - 154 points
6. Ed007 - 150 points
7. Ed003 - 148 points

 

*1 point is awarded for the correct result, 3 points for the correct score.
**updated 9th February 2018 (not including results for that day)

Written by Tris Burke February 11 2018 02:17:17