Premier League Preview: Match Day 24

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There’s no time to breathe in the Premier League at the minute as sides prepare for a full midweek fixture schedule following the weekend action.

Match Day 24 roughly indicates that two thirds of the season has now passed, meaning that every point between now and the end of the season is vital.

Barring Liverpool’s 16-point lead at the top of the table – which could be stretched to 19 if they win their game in hand – there’s still plenty to keep an eye on in the Premier League.

Just six points separate Chelsea in fourth and Sheffield United in seventh, while at the foot of the table eight points is the gap between Norwich City in 20th and Brighton & Hove Albion in 15th, with plenty more twists and turns expected between now and May.

Match of the Round – Chelsea vs Arsenal 

A huge London derby is the headline game for this midweek’s round of fixtures, as two sides aiming to finish in the top four meet at Stamford Bridge in Chelsea and Arsenal.

The Blues, who are ten points ahead of their upcoming opponents, will be hoping to bounce back from a disappointing defeat at the weekend to Newcastle United, in what was a game that Frank Lampard’s side had the better of, but still came away from it with nothing to show for their efforts.

In many ways it’s how their season has gone. They are a young side with lots of promise and ability, but can sometimes stutter in games they are expected to win, like the previous game at St. James’ Park. Chelsea will have fond memories of Arsenal however, as they showed character in the reverse fixture to secure a 2-1 win with two goals inside the final ten minutes.

Mikel Arteta meanwhile has described the game as a must-win for Arsenal if they’re to have any hope of finishing in the top four.

The Spaniard’s reign is in the early stages certainly, with the Gunners picking up just one win in the league since his appointment (D3 L1). While there have been improvements on the pitch, Arteta knows the size of the task at hand. For example, Arsenal have dropped 13 points from winning positions in the league this season, with more than half coming since the arrival of Arteta (7).

One positive for Arsenal this season however has been Gabriel Martinelli. His goal against Sheffield United at the weekend was his ninth of the season in all competitions, as the 18-year-old looks to temporarily fill the void left by a suspended Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Rest of the Round

The midweek action is stretched over three consecutive days, starting with Tuesday.

Aston Villa host one of the form sides of the division in Watford, who have won four of their last six league games (D2).

With one win in their last 12 league games (D1 L10), Bournemouth will be desperate for the points when Brighton make the trip along the south coast to the Vitality Stadium.

Crystal Palace, who have drawn each of their last four league games, take on a Southampton side that saw their five-game unbeaten run come to an end at the weekend.

Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United make to trip to Goodison Park to take on Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton.

Sheffield United will be hoping to unsettle one of the league’s big hitters once again when they welcome Manchester City to Bramall Lane.

Wednesday sees Leicester City looking to avoid losing three consecutive three league games for the first time this season when they host West Ham United.

Tottenham Hotspur, who have won only one of their last six league games (D2 L3), take on Norwich City, who won their first league game since late November at the weekend.

Kicking off slightly later on the Wednesday is Manchester United’s clash with Burnley.

The sole game on Thursday sees Wolverhampton Wanders host runaway league leaders Liverpool.

Premier League Player to Watch: Dominic Calvert-Lewin – £1.62 – Everton 

English strikers have enjoyed a fine season collectively when it comes to scoring goals, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin certainly part of that group.

This season has been something of a breakthrough for the 22-year-old, who has scored six goals in his last eight league games to take his tally to nine for the campaign.

Two of his nine league goals this season came against Everton’s next opponents, Newcastle, as the young forward will be hoping his run of form has caught the eye of England manager Gareth Southgate ahead of the March internationals.

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Social Media Executive @ Football Index - Liverpool fan at just about the right time

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