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Football News: Premier League Match Preview Sunday 6th May 2018

Premier League Match Preview Sunday 6th May 2018
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Sunday 6th May 2018


Manchester City v Huddersfield Town 1:30pm kick off


Walker (groin injury) slight doubt
Kompany (muscle injury) slight doubt
Aguero (knee injury expected return 1st June) out
Stones (adductor strain) late fitness test

The stroll to the finish continues with yet another team fighting relegation to contend with. With the luck they have had this season, it would not surprise me if they faced a Huddersfield reserve side, as they save themselves for the final two matches instead. It is odd how often they have been able to face teams who have ceded the game pretty much before kick off when the Premier League is claimed to be so competitive. It is even more odd when you see that lower league teams in both cups have been the only sides, other than Man Utd and Liverpool, that have actually taken the game to them. Those were the games they found most difficult, but no one seems to have taken any notice and just follow the same old failed system of sitting back and letting them play. It must be particularly galling for Pep Guardiola, who wants to shut up all his critics by winning in style, not by winning a race where every other runner just moves out of his way to let him past.
Most important player: Yaya Toure. It is his last day as a City player and he will want to go out on a high, have his cake and eat it.


Ince (hamstring injury) late fitness test
Kachunga (ankle injury expected return 1st June) out
Williams (broken ankle) out
Hefele (knee injury) major doubt

The Terriers still have relegation fears to dispel, but they do have two more games after this one to reach safety. Will David Wagner want to keep something in reserve for the final two games or will he decide to go for it now to get the points on the board? Chelsea and Arsenal are, on paper at least, easier games, but it is a big risk to leave it all for the final week of the season when the pressure has cranked up and the team's morale could be anywhere.
Most important player: Steve Mounie. He is still the top scorer and they will not survive without goals.


Defining Battle: it all depends on which Huddersfield turns up. If it is the high press, high energy team that won promotion from the Championship, then they can cause major problems for Man City. If it is the Huddersfield team of this season, which has lacked energy, looking jaded if anything, with a low press, then they will get torn to shreds by the Cityzens.


Editors' Predictions:
Ed002 - 6-2
Ed003 - 4-0
Ed004 - 4-0
Ed007 - 4-1
Ed018 - 3-1
Ed025 - 5-0
Ed033 - 2-0


Arsenal v Burnley 4:30pm kick off


Koscielny (Achilles injury) out
Elneny (ankle injury expected return 13th May) out
Cazorla (plantaris injury) out

This is the big battle for 6th place, hot on the heels of the failure in the Europa League. It is not really the way Arsene Wenger wants his reign to end, fighting for 6th, but this is his final home Premier League game in charge of Arsenal and that is all that is at stake. A lot will depend on how much Thursday night took out of them, not just physically but emotionally, as losing the way they did can be demoralising. Can they give the gaffer one more big performance?
Most important player: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. He has fresh legs, at least, so has no excuse not to perform.


Wood (foot injury) doubt
Mee (shin injury expected return 13th May) slight doubt
Arfield (calf strain) out
Defour (knee injury) out
Brady (knee injury) out

The Clarets have already achieved something special by qualifying for the Europa League next season, they still have a chance of going one step further by finishing above Arsenal. It all hinges on this game, win and they have a chance of finishing above the Gunners. For most clubs in the Prem you would say one place up the table is not much of a difference. That £2m (roughly) prize money difference between each place is huge for Burnley though, it was only a few years ago that Sean Dyche was having to sell to keep the lights on there after all. They are a club that every penny counts for, so this matters.
Most important player: Jack Cork. He has been the unsung hero in the Premier League this season.


Defining Battle: if any team is set up to out battle the Arsenal side it is Burnley. This is almost the perfect silk versus steel clash. If the Gunners' fragile mentality does rear its head, they could find themselves in serious trouble. The key to this game is that Burnley are not the most clinical of sides, they struggle to score goals even when on top, whereas Arsenal can always score a goal. Burnley just have to be careful to avoid getting caught out on the break and make the most of their chances.


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


Chelsea v Liverpool 4:30pm kick off


Drinkwater (calf strain) out
Luiz (knee injury expected return 13th May) out
Ampadu (broken ankle) out

A top four finish is still possible, though difficult due to their goal difference, but they have to win. Nothing less than a win will be good enough. Playing against a team like Liverpool, the thing you least want is to have to commit to attacking them, as that leaves gaps at the back which they are perfectly placed to exploit. It is a position a manager like Antonio Conte particularly hates, as he wants to have the opposition attack him, to have something to hold onto. Then there are his tactics, which he has rigidly stuck to since moving over to a back three. Time and time again Liverpool have destroyed teams that use a back three against them, will he make a change and go with a back four, which he has recently had to swap over to lately to chase a game?
Most important player: N'Golo Kante. The French midfielder will have a lot of work to do to protect the defence behind him.


Gomez (ankle injury) out
Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee injury) out
Lallana (hamstring injury expected return 13th May) slight doubt
Matip (thigh injury expected return 1st July) out
Can (back injury expected return 26th May) out

Jurgen Klopp has his work cut out to focus his players' minds on this match with a Champions League final looming on the horizon. Especially with his team needing just one point to ensure a top 4 finish and guarantee a return to the Champions League again next season. That point does not even have to come today, there is one more game to earn it. There is also the very real possibility Klopp decides to rest some of the players after the drama of the Champions League semi-final in mid-week. That has disrupted recent performances as they have looked disjointed and lacked the attacking threat they have possessed for most of the season.
Most important player: Mohamed Salah. If he is rested, that will be a huge boost for Chelsea. If he starts I am sure he will want to prove a point and lock down the golden boot.


Defining Battle: a lot depends on if Chelsea stick with a back three and if Liverpool go full strength. Chelsea will need cover for the centre backs if they choose to go with a back three, as they are not the powerhouse team they were last season. This season they have looked vulnerable and lacked the clinical edge to put games away. Kante has done his best but he has often found himself overrun as the system change up front has left him isolated in midfield at times.


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


Editor's Predictions Table
1. Ed002 - 242 points
2. Ed033 - 236 points
3. Ed018 - 234 points
4. Ed007 - 232 points
5. Ed025 - 220 points
6. Ed004 - 219 points
7. Ed003 - 208 points


*1 point is awarded for the correct result, 3 points for the correct score.
**updated 4th May 2018 (not including results for that day)

Written by Tris Burke May 06 2018 05:06:57