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Football News: Premier League Matches Previews 16 March 2019

Premier League Matches Previews 16 March 2019
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Bournemouth v Newcastle United

While Bournemouth ended their small five-game winless drought with a 2-0 triumph away at Huddersfield last week, Newcastle came from two goals behind to earn a third win in their last four league games against Everton, which makes this match an intriguing clash between two confident sides.

Having said that, Newcastle have not been in such hot form on their travels - they are winless in six away from St. James' Park, far from ideal going into this match at the Vitality Stadium, where Bournemouth haven't actually lost a league game to a side from outside the current Premier League top-six since November 2017 against Burnley. Their only loss in six home league games was against Man City in their last such match, so they will be more confident and attack-minded in this game against a side who are below them in the league table.

However, Newcastle haven't lost in the Premier League at the Vitality Stadium in two such trips, drawing once and winning the other, and they beat Bournemouth 2-1 at St. James' Park in the reverse meeting in September. Indeed, the Magpies have only ever lost one away league game at Bournemouth, and that was back in 1989.

A word of warning for Newcastle, though, would be that they have only actually won three of their 27 away Premier League games against south coast opposition, so they evidently do not enjoy the long journey down from the north-east. Benitez's side will have to get to grips with that today if they are to bring some of their home form into their away fixtures.

Key players:

Callum Wilson - He's scored in each of his last three league appearances, last scoring in four in a row in October 2014, so this is a big chance for him to do that at home against a side below Bournemouth in the table and struggling away from home today.

Matt Ritchie - Ritchie has four league goals against his former club Bournemouth, and he has created more chances (43) than any other Newcastle player in the Premier League this season. With Bournemouth's clear defensive frailties, that quality final ball for the likes of Rondon and Almiron from him could be so important for Rafael Benitez's side here.

Burnley v Leicester City

Last week was a bad one for Burnley. After Cardiff, Southampton, Brighton and Newcastle all earned wins, they went down to a 4-2 loss to Liverpool which now sees them sit just two points above the relegation zone and in significant need of points.

Leicester, meanwhile, picked up their first win of Brendan Rodgers' reign at home to Fulham, and are now hoping to earn back-to-back wins for the first time since December 2018, when they beat Chelsea and Man City in succession, no less.

Away from home, though, the Foxes are really struggling, failing to win any of their last five on the road in all competitions, losing four of those whilst conceding 12 goals overall. Rodgers wasn't known for his Liverpool and Swansea sides being defensively resilient in the Premier League, but he will have to improve on that with Leicester, starting with a tough trip to Turf Moor here.

Indeed, Burnley's only loss in their last six home matches in all competitions was to Crystal Palace in their last such games, and Sean Dyche's side haven't failed to find the net in any match at home since October 2018 when Chelsea beat them 4-0.

And the Clarets have won both of their last two home league matches versus Leicester, last beating them in three in a row in October 1966, a run of four.

However, the reverse meeting between these two sides finished goalless in November 2018, and that was the 12th of the last 16 top-flight clashes between the two to see at least one side fail to score, so this fixture doesn't traditionally produce bag loads of goals. If anything could change that, though, perhaps it is Leicester's new attack-minded manager.

Key players:

Ashley Barnes - He's scored in each of his last three home league matches, and a goal today will make him the first ever Burnley player to score in four in a row at Turf Moor in the Premier League. However, he has only found the net in one of his 10 previous league appearances against Leicester, so he will need to improve there to set this record for Sean Dyche's side.

Jamie Vardy - With five goals in his last five league games, Vardy is a man in form - he had only bagged four in 16 such appearances before this, and Rodgers is just the manager to get the best out of the England striker.

West Ham United v Huddersfield Town

With Huddersfield effectively relegated, 16 points adrift with just 24 left to play for, their remaining matches between now and the end of the season have lost much of their interest.

The Terriers have lost 16 of their last 18 games in all competitions, including eight of nine away from home. Indeed, they haven't even scored a goal away from home since Boxing Day 2018 when they lost 3-1 at Man Utd. They are on course to set a record low goals-per-game tally for a top-flight side, and it's really difficult to conjure positives for them.

West Ham, on the other hand, are in imperious home form, winning six of their last nine while losing only once in that time across all competitions at the London Stadium. And they have won two of their three Premier League clashes with Huddersfield, last losing a home game against them way back in May 1971.

Indeed, they love facing Yorkshire opposition in general, with clubs from the county losing their last seven Premier League visits to the Hammers since Leeds won there in November 2002. In this mini-north/south battle, it's the London club that are well on top.

Truth be told, it's difficult to see that changing against this badly out of form - and out of confidence - Huddersfield Town outfit.

Key players:

Michail Antonio - He has scored in both of his last two home league games, and in fact has had a hand in five in his last eight Premier League games at the London Stadium, scoring three and assisting two. Against the league's bottom side, he will be aiming to add to that today.

Alex Pritchard - He scored in his last league appearance versus West Ham in November 2018 but remarkably that was his last Premier League goal involvement. That's 15 appearances without a single goal or assist for him. It's hard for him without having strong players around him, but for a creative player that isn't nearly good enough.

Written by Reid the Red March 16 2019 10:38:33


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