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Football News: Premier League Game Previews 10 February 2019

Premier League Game Previews 10 February 2019
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Sunday February 10th

Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City

Can we call it official now? Spurs simply aren’t allowed to draw Premier League football matches anymore. They have set a competition record 29 consecutive matches without a draw, while no side has gone 30 without a draw in the English top-flight since the 1920s.

And yet another stalemate was ended late on in their last game against Newcastle, Son Heung-Min netting a late winner to break the record. Spurs are still firmly in this title race, and it’s late goals such as that that has kept them in such a strong position. Their last three Premier League games have seen them win thanks to goals in the final 10 minutes of matches.

Their visitors today are Leicester, who have lost four of their last five matches in all competitions, so are struggling for form at the moment, with questions over Claude Puel’s future simply not going away as a result. And today they face Spurs, who they have only managed to beat twice in their last 11 league meetings, conceding 28 goals across those fixtures, including five at Wembley last season in a 5-4 thriller.

But Leicester did win their last league visit to London at Chelsea in December, and with Spurs having lost three of their last five league matches played on a Sunday, this game won’t be easy for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

Just don’t expect a draw.

Key players:

Son Heung-Min - Does this man get tired? Straight back from the Asian Cup with two huge goals in two games, Son now has 10 goals in his last 11 league starts, and is proving his undoubted quality in a stellar season so far.

Jamie Vardy - Only against Liverpool has Vardy been involved in more Premier League goals than he has against Spurs, and he might be without a goal in four league games, but he has three in his last two versus Tottenham. Leicester need him to be on form today.

Manchester City v Chelsea

This is a massive game, both for Manchester City’s title ambitions and Chelsea’s top four hopes. And Man City go into it in imperious form, winning 10 of their last 11 games in all competitions, scoring 39 goals in the process.

But of course Chelsea were the first side to beat Man City in a league game this season back in December, and they have done a Premier League double over the Citizens more than any other club (10 times). How Sarri would love to get one over on Pep Guardiola and do that again here.

But this is a City side that is full of confidence, winning 15 of their last 16 home matches in all competitions and 13 of their last 14 in the league. Chelsea will have to be at their very best to get anything here.

And the Blues have only managed to win on two of their last 10 visits to the Etihad Stadium in all competitions - that shows that it has not been a happy hunting ground for them of late. Having said that, few teams have enjoyed their visits to Man City in recent years, and it will be no different for Chelsea.

It has to be said, though, that Chelsea have brought their A-game against reigning champions in the past few seasons, winning their last three such matches against them and going unbeaten in seven. Indeed, they have lost just twice in their last 13 league games against the defending champions, to Man Utd in September 2011 and Man City themselves in February 2013.

The fact is, that this is a mouth-watering clash between two sides who love to get the ball down and play. Both teams will be gunning for all three points, and it should make for great viewing.

Key players:

Sergio Aguero - Aguero’s record at the Etihad is frankly ludicrous. He has been directly involved in 27 goals in his last 15 league starts there, scoring 22 while assisting five. Astonishing numbers, and he has 40 Premier League goals to his name against fellow “big six” clubs. He is such a danger man, and is, despite his consistent brilliance for Man City, still arguably one of the most underrated players in the Premier League.

Eden Hazard - He’s been directly involved in five goals in his last five league games against Man City, and put simply if he doesn’t show up today, then Chelsea will struggle to get a result. The Belgian has scored five and assisted six goals in his last 12 league appearances, and has been crucial to Maurizio Sarri’s side all season.

Monday February 11th

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Newcastle United

The final Premier League game of MD26 sees seventh-placed Wolves face relegation strugglers Newcastle. Wolves come into this match having won three consecutive games in all competitions, and are looking for a fourth consecutive win for the first time since last April when they were in the Championship, and it would also be the first time they’ve won four top-flight matches in succession since 1972.

Newcastle, meanwhile, have won two of their last three league games, including a win over Manchester City, and only lost to a late goal last time out versus Spurs, so they are on the up. But they are still in a relegation dogfight that manager Rafael Benitez will want them to climb out of as soon as possible.

Wolves do not enjoy playing on a Monday in the Premier League - they have lost all four of their games in the competition on this day of the week, so perhaps that can give Newcastle hope of a vital three points tonight.

But Wolves did win the reverse fixture between these two clubs in December, and although that is only one of two wins against the Magpies in their last nine league encounters with them, it gives Wolves the opportunity to do a league double over Newcastle for the first time since 1991-92. Newcastle need to avoid that in truth as they look to climb away from the bottom three.

Key players:

Joao Moutinho - With five assists in his last three league games, Moutinho has had a stellar start to 2019 for Wolves, and his quality will be key for them again here tonight. Indeed, he has seven assists overall in the Premier League, with six coming from set-pieces - the latter being the most in the division as of the start of MD26.

Salomon Rondon - His six league goals this season have earned Newcastle nine points, a superb rate that shows how important he is to the club. He also hit the post against Spurs last week which could have been crucial too had he scored, so he is clearly the danger man that Wolves need to stop tonight.

Written by Reid the Red February 10 2019 09:29:34


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