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Football News: Premier League Games Preview for 6 October 2018

Premier League Games Preview for 6 October 2018
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Burnley v Huddersfield Town
There's very little about this match that suggest there will be goals. Both meetings between these two sides last season were goalless, and this season, Huddersfield are the lowest scoring team in the Premier League. Not only that, but of ever-present Premier League sides since the start of last season, matches involving Burnley have seen fewer goals than any of the other 16 clubs (95 in 45 games).
It'll probably be 4-4 now I've said all that.

Burnley have suddenly found some Premier League form. Two wins on the bounce to end a 10-match winless run in the competition has seen them climb out of the relegation zone. They have scored as many goals in those two games (six) as those previous 10 winless matches combined. They were perhaps a touch fortuitous against Cardiff after conceding so many shots whilst attempting very little themselves, but Sean Dyche won't mind one bit.
And whilst Burnley have netted six goals in their last two league games, Huddersfield have only netted as many in their last 17. A rotten run, it's clear for all to see where their issues lie. And it's no wonder that they're on their longest run without a league win since January 2013. Fail to win here at Turf Moor, and they won't have had a longer winning drought in league competition since November 2000.

Their record against the Clarets won't give Terriers fans much optimism either. A meagre three wins in their last 21 league meetings, and only once at Turf Moor in that time. They are desperate for a win here having yet to earn one this season, and they'll have to improve in every department if they're to get one.

Key players:
Chris Wood - Wood has scored eight times in all competitions against Huddersfield, more than against any other club in his professional career in English football. He'll be looking to come back to haunt them again here today.
Aaron Mooy - The Australian was a large reason why Huddersfield survived in the Premier League last season, and if they are to do so again this campaign too, he needs to find some form. He has made more successful passes than any other Huddersfield player so far this season, and no other Huddersfield player has created more goal scoring chances than him either. But he still needs to improve and get closer to his figures from last year, else David Wagner's side are in big trouble.

Crystal Palace v Wolverhampton Wanderers
It's been an excellent start to life in the Premier League for Wolves, who have lost just once in their opening seven games, and have won three of their last four, enough to see them go into MD8 in 8th position.
Meanwhile, their opponents today, Crystal Palace, have won only once in their last six league games, losing four of those, including a 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth on Monday evening. And at Selhurst Park, they're without a win or even a goal in the Premier League this season - the second season running that has happened to them. Only three teams in top-flight history have failed to score in their opening four home games to a season - West Brom in 1921-22, Everton in 1998-99 and of course Huddersfield Town this season. It's incredible, really, that two teams could do it in the same season!

Palace have only won one of their last five home league games against Wolves, although that was the last meeting in January 2013. But in all competitions, they've won three in a row home and away to Wolves, so they're not without recent form against them.
Wolves are the only side yet to make a single change to any of their league line-ups this season, and that is standing them in good stead so far, as they look to keep a consistent starting XI to help maintain consistent form.

Key players:
Wilfried Zaha - Who else? Three goals and an assist already this season, and two goals and an assist in two league appearances against Wolves makes the Ivorian the danger man yet again for Crystal Palace. Their reliance on him is clear and if he isn't on top form, neither are they.

Raul Jimenez - With two goals and two assists already this season, Jimenez has been involved in half of Wolves' league goals so far, and that makes him crucial to their plans. Selhurst Park is never an easy place for an opposition striker, so he'll have to be at his best to help his side continue their good form today.

Leicester City v Everton
Leicester's form is very hard to gauge. They've won their last two league games in a row, but before that had lost two in a row, before winning two in a row, before losing two in a row again. If that cycle does go on, they're actually due a defeat here despite their winning run.
They have won three of their last four in the league at the King Power Stadium, however - that's as many as their previous 11 combined there, so their home form has improved well recently under Puel.

The Foxes have only lost one of their last nine home league games against Everton too, so they face a side they have a reasonable record against today.
As for Everton, they earned their first win in five league games against Fulham last time out, but are yet to win on their travels this season, and have only won three of their last 30 away league games, a desperately poor 10%. That needs to be improved upon quickly if they are to challenge higher up the table than they did in 2017-18.

Their manager Marco Silva has lost both of his visits to the King Power Stadium, once with Hull and once with Watford, whilst Claude Puel has won both of his home league meetings with Everton, once with Southampton and last season with the Foxes - a good sign for Leicester on the face of it.
In Premier League meetings between Puel and Silva, they have both won one, drawn one and lost one of three previous encounters, so their head-to-head is incredibly even and that could be how this game pans out too between two teams who have had indifferent starts to the 2018-19 Premier League.

Key players:
Jamie Vardy - With four goals and two assists in six Premier League games against Everton, Vardy has only scored more against Arsenal and Liverpool in the division. He's had a hand in seven goals in his last seven league appearances, including two goals and an assist in his most recent two, making him the man to stop from an Everton point of view.

Theo Walcott - With two goals and two assists in the 2018-19 Premier League already and five goals in his last seven league games against Leicester, Walcott will look to build on a decent start to the campaign here today after also scoring in the EFL Cup in midweek. Indeed, he has only scored more times against West Ham than he has Leicester in the top flight. However, he has only scored once away from Goodison Park for Everton, so he does need to improve on his away form.

Tottenham Hotspur v Cardiff City
Tottenham have bounced back from their two straight defeats to Watford and Liverpool with two Premier League wins on the bounce, and they will go into this game against a Cardiff side yet to win a match this season confident they can get another result.
Indeed, Spurs haven't lost to Cardiff in the league since 1961, and won both Premier League games in 2013-14 by a 1-0 scoreline. And they haven't lost a home league game to the Bluebirds since 1954.

For Cardiff, winless in eight in the league, it will take a huge turnaround of the form books for them to not fail to win nine in a row for the first time since August 2007. Two points after seven games represents their joint-worst start at this stage of a season in the Football League/Premier League, alongside 1989-90 and 1930-31.

This is a Tottenham team that have only lost three of their last 40 home league games. And they have a ridiculously good record against promoted sides - 37 league games without defeat against such opponents since they lost to QPR in April 2012 under Harry Redknapp. It's hard to see that run ending here today given Cardiff's early season form.

Having already played Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City, Spurs will be the fourth "big six" side that Cardiff have faced already this season - so they have had a very tough start to their campaign, and perhaps that means the only way is up for them going forward.
Key players:

Harry Kane - Having scored against 26 of the 27 sides he's faced in the Premier League, Cardiff are the only missing piece for Kane. With three goals in his last two games, he's hot on form and confidence going into this one, and will see this Cardiff team who have conceded a joint-high 16 goals this season as a prime opportunity to add to his tally.

Sean Morrison - Cardiff know they will have to battle here, and Morrison has won more duels than any other player in the Premier League so far this season - he epitomises the fighting spirit Warnock wants to see from his teams, although it will possibly take even more than that for them to get a result here.

Watford v Bournemouth
After a remarkable start to the season, the wheels have somewhat started to come off for Watford after three winless games, and they will look to put that right against a Bournemouth side they are yet to lose to in the Premier League (albeit five of the six clashes have ended level, with Watford winning the other).

Indeed, they have only lost once in their last 14 meetings with the Cherries in all competitions, and they face them at Vicarage Road, where they have been superb of late. Just two defeats there in 11 Premier League games under Javier Gracia, and they have won four of their last five there. If they lose, it would be the first time they've suffered back-to-back home league defeats since May 2017, which shows how consistent they are on home soil.

Bournemouth have had an excellent start to this Premier League season, and are level on points with Watford going into this match. Their main issue, however, is conceding goals. They haven't kept a clean sheet in any of their last nine away league games, and have let in 20 goals in that time, including four against Burnley, who were winless at the time.

That is an issue that Eddie Howe hasn't really addressed throughout their time in the Premier League. They've let in a massive 207 goals since they joined the division in 2015-16 - more than any other side. They are going to need to be tighter at the back against a Watford side who have not been short on the attacking front so far this season.

Key players:
Troy Deeney - With four goals in his four league games against Bournemouth at Vicarage Road, Deeney will be looking forward to this. He'll be desperate to see his side get back to winning ways after a mini-slump in results compared to their blistering start, and that makes him dangerous, especially with Bournemouth's poor defensive record.
Joshua King - King has scored three times in his last four league games against Watford, and he's Bournemouth's top scorer in 2018 so far, so will be hoping he can add to his tally again today.

Manchester United v Newcastle United
After their loss to West Ham last week, this is now Manchester United's worst ever start to a Premier League season, all things considered. They have as many points as they had after seven games under David Moyes in 2013-14 but a poorer goal difference. As such this is a massively important game for Manchester United, not least as they are winless in four at home in all competitions, Mourinho's worst ever such streak as a manager for any club.
Their saving grace might just be their opponents here - Newcastle are one of three sides without a win in the Premier League going into MD8 (also Cardiff and Huddersfield). Indeed, the Magpies have only once beaten Manchester United at Old Trafford in their last 36 visits in all competitions - and that was when David Moyes was in charge of the Red Devils. That would be another unwanted comparison with that campaign for Man Utd should they lose this match.

Indeed, a Newcastle victory would mean they have won back-to-back league meetings with Man Utd for the first time since 1972. Sir Alex Ferguson was still a player then.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has won six of his last nine games against Man Utd in all competitions, including twice at Old Trafford. That will give him confidence that his side can perhaps get a result here.
Man Utd will already be the fifth of the so-called "big six" sides that Newcastle will have faced already this season, a torrid start that means they are left playing catch up to other Premier League sides already.
In fact, only once before have they had fewer points after seven league games, which was in 1999-2000 (one point). The positive there is that they recovered to finish 11th that season. They need some of that spirit again in 2018-19 if they are to have a chance of winning this match.

Key players:
Romelu Lukaku - The Belgian striker has scored half of Man United's eight league goals this season, and with five goals and four assists in his last five league starts against Newcastle, Man Utd need him to start firing to help them move up the table, where they would like to be. That said, he also needs the service to do so, which needs to improve in itself.

Mo Diame - The midfielder has made more tackles than any other Newcastle player so far this season, with only striker Joselu winning more duels. As such, his battling spirit in the middle of the park will be pivotal for Rafael Benitez's side here today in order to prevent Man Utd from imposing themselves.

Written by Reid the Red October 06 2018 10:40:29


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