After the briefest of breaks, the Premier League returns with a full fixture list across three days of football beginning with four games on Tuesday night.
The first of two 6pm kick-offs sees in-form West Ham host Crystal Palace with David Moyes’ side looking to make it five wins on the bounce as the Hammers chase a Europa League place.
The second early evening offering pits struggling Newcastle against the ever-unpredictable Leeds united, who won this fixture 5-2 at Elland Road just before Christmas.
Manchester City will look to go top of the Premier League with a win at West Brom, though Pep Guardiola will be aware that the Baggies actually took points off his side when these two met at the Etihad last year.
Also at 8pm, it’s a rematch between Southampton and Arsenal and although the Saints dumped the Gunners out of the FA Cup last Sunday, Mikel Arteta’s side could actually lep up to eighth place in the table with a win on the South Coast.
Crystal Palace vs West Ham 18:00
With three straight wins and no defeats in their last five, West Ham, currently seventh in the Premier League, have their sights well and truly set on a European place this season
And if they get there it will be based around being very disciplined at the back as, in their last four Premier League games, they’ve shipped just one goal, a statistic backed up by expected goals data of just 1.94.
However, Palace will have Wilfried Zaha back for this one, they’ve lost all three matches without him this season.
The corresponding meeting between these two in December finished 1-1 with Palace perhaps unfortunate not to take maximum points with Sebastian Haller’s stunning overhead kick cancelling out Christian Benteke’s opener.
Newcastle vs Leeds 18:00
No goals scored, an average of just nine touches in the opposition box per match and 1.6 shots on target per match – Newcastle have been poor to say the least in their last three Premier League games.
As a result, pressure has been mounting on Steve Bruce whose side has been defeated in their last four league games, an alarming run which has seen his side slump to 16th in the table.
As a result, the last thing Bruce needs right now is to come up against a team like Leeds United who are bursting with energy and full of forward-thinking players.
Admittedly, Leeds didn’t give a good account of themselves in their defeat to Brighton, but it’s worth noting that Marcelo Bielsa’s side scored five from a 25 shots on goal in the fixture between these two at Elland Road which they won 5-2.
West Brom vs Manchester City 20:00
Liverpool’s recent stumble has handed Pep Guardiola’s men a chance to get right back into the title race, an opportunity they have grabbed with both hands.
Since losing to Spurs in November, City have conceded just two goals in 10 games, winning seven of those to nil and know that a win here could see them return to the top of the Premier League table – something which seemed unthinkable a few months ago.
But it’s worth remembering that West Brom were actually one of the two teams to break through the City barricades during that spell in Slaven Bilic’s final game in charge.
Even so, Since the start of December, West Brom have been put to the sword at home by Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Leeds United and Arsenal – conceding 17 and scoring just one goal in that dreadful run.
Southampton vs Arsenal 20:00
Just three days after ending Arsenal’s FA Cup defence in the fourth round, Southampton welcome the Gunners to the South Coast once again in the Premier League.
That win was just what the doctor ordered for a Southampton side who have started to falter in the league with just one victory from their last six in the top flight, although that was their historic triumph over Liverpool earlier this month.
Despite that cup defeat last Sunday, in the Premier League, Mikel Arteta has seen his side victorious in four of their last five Premier League matches – conceding only once in that time – and their tally of 19 league goals shipped is the fourth-lowest in the division.
As a result, a victory for Arsenal here would see them temporarily rise above Southampton, Aston Villa and Chelsea into eighth before the latter two teams play on Wednesday.
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