A glimpse into this week’s hottest Premier League matches
The first half of the Premier League has certainly not left anyone disappointed, and now the second half of the 2020/2021 season is coming in hot. Success has many different meanings when it comes to the Premier League, depending on who you ask.
For the likes of the various Manchester clubs and Liverpool, success to them is winning the whole competition. But to the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Leicester City, success means to end up within the top 4 and possibly qualify for the Champions League. And to those who are not in the top few, success means keeping their positions in the Premier League, as is the case with many clubs at the bottom.
Manchester United vs. Southampton (Tuesday, 20:15 GMT)
One of the most highly-anticipated clashes, which is set to take place at Old Trafford. Contrary to the freezing cold of the temperature outside, you can expect the ambience between both sides to be fiery. During the previous season, Manchester drew 2-2 at Old Trafford when Southampton scored in the last minute of the extra time. This caused United to almost lose their place in the top four.
This game brings forth a last chance for both of these teams, as any more mistakes from United could end up with them attempting to catch both season’s top two. For the Saints, a loss means that they will be out of the top four, a task which they seem capable of achieving this season.
Manchester will have to try and reorganize the situation after a dead end against Arsenal on Saturday. The club should specifically look to try and secure some goals after merely one strike in a whole three hours against bottom half sides. A shocking event that took place the week before was when Manchester failed to score more than one goal against Sheffield United and lost the game. This time around, it won’t be easy, but the Red Devils still have a chance.
Southampton, on the other hand, are looking well and ready for this game under Hassenhuttl. We of course can’t forget Danny Ings, who gave The Saints a home win last month vs Liverpool. They advance to this game with no fear.
Fulham vs. Leicester City (Wednesday, 18:00 GMT)
The two teams come face to face in this long-awaited match at Craven Cottage full of uncertainty – no one knows what will go down. Fulham are definitely seeming less grim than they did at other times during this season. Fulham managed to snatch a 2-1 win at the King Power Stadium late last year, while Leicester suffered a 3-1 home loss.
No one knows what the outcome of this one will be, since it’s really not as simple as expecting the same result. Manager Brendan Rodgers is staying vague when it comes to Jamie Vardy, since this is something that he doesn’t want opposition managers to find out so that he can keep his possible element of surprise. The Foxes are risky without Vardy, but the chance is still there. Fulham themselves should have no reason to go into this game carrying fear and uncertainty with them, seeing as they scored twice at The Hawthorns during the weekend.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea (Thursday, 20:00 GMT)
This one can go one of two ways: an excitement-filled red hot game or a repetition of a ‘Big Six’ moment that is surrounded by hype but ends up disappointing everyone with no goals in sight. The traditional ‘Big Six’ teams have provided more 0-0 games than in almost any other season. Four of these games featured Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal. However, at least Tottenham can say that they had a good reason for it. A dull stalemate was all it would have taken, two months ago, for Tottenham to end up at the top of the premier league.
Both sides have been going downhill since then. Chelsea was officially out of the race for the title and after they parted ways with Frank Lampard, things took a turn for the worse as their chances of ending up in the top four plummeted. Tottenham has also suffered majorly as Harry Kane is now out thanks to an injury, so the battle to stay in the top four is getting harder and harder.