By Niall Clarke
- Five questions on our minds ahead of match-week 15 of the Premier League season
- Predictions for all 10 of the weekend’s games.
Heading towards the busiest period of the Premier League season there are plenty of questions to be answered. Here are five of them for match-week 15.
Will the in-form West Brom upset Chelsea?
Super Sunday kicks off with two of the most in form sides in the league as table toppers Chelsea host sixth placed West Brom.
The Blues are riding an eight match winning streak and are coming off a huge 3-1 win away at Manchester City. Despite not looking their best, clinical counter attacking football brought home a crucial three points for Antonio Conte’s side. There are weaknesses to be got at however. City created plenty of chances and would have likely won if they would have finished them off.
West Brom have hit some good form of their own under Tony Pulis and they find themselves in the top six. As usual with Pulis sides, they are well organised and difficult to break down. Their main attacking threat comes from set pieces where the majority of their goals have come from.
The Baggies are the type of side that frustrates the bigger teams and you could see them possibly ending Chelsea’s winning run. The Blues will be the favourites though and will be expected to keep their lead at the top of the Premier League.
Can Leicester turn their season around?
It feels like the same thing every week with Leicester, but they are really in trouble. The defending champions have lost their magic of last season and are currently in a relegation battle. Their European form has been a beacon of light or the Foxes, but even that took a small downturn after Porto hammered them 5-0.
Leicester host title challengers Manchester City on Saturday who themselves are looking to bounce back after their loss to Chelsea last week. The Citizens are yet to fully adapt to Pep Guardiola’s style, but their talent can not be denied and they are still among the title favourites.
City will be without their top striker Sergio Aguero through suspension, so there will be a chance for Kelechi Iheanacho to shine in front of Guardiola and stake his own claim for a starting place. It will be interesting to see how City attack without their main forward.
This would have been a much closer looking fixture a year a go when Leicester were flying high, but it is still an intriguing one. Leicester are still dangerous despite their form, and City look vulnerable. Will there be an upset?
Can Manchester United win their first match in three?
Manchester United host Tottenham Hotspur in the blockbuster game of the weekend on Sunday in a match that could have huge implications regarding Champions League qualification.
The Red Devils return to Old Trafford after travelling to Everton and Zorya, and do not come back in the best of form. Yes, they did win in the midweek, but they have not tasted a Premier League win in three matches. They have not been losing, but they have been dropping points when they should have sealed all three.
In fact, United and Spurs are two of the teams that have drawn the most in the Premier League this season with six of them each, so the chances of this being a tie are quite high. This is a game United need to win. Pressure is mounting of Jose Mourinho with many claiming that he has ‘lost his special touch’, and a loss here would only send United further behind the leading pack.
Tottenham on the other hand are still fighting for the title despite being seven points behind Chelsea. They can ill afford a defeat as falling further behind will surely end their title hopes.
There is a lot on the line for both teams when they meet at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Who can move clear of the relegation zone?
It is easy to get caught up with the excitement of the title race, but there is also a hotly contested battle to avoid relegation at the other end of the table.
With so many teams involved, there will be plenty of eyes on the scrap this weekend. Swansea host Sunderland in what could turn out to be six pointer come the end of the season. A win for Swansea would be huge after their poor start under Bob Bradley whilst a defeat would leave them stuck at the bottom of the table further behind one of their rivals.
Crystal Palace put an end to their losing streak with an impressive 3-0 win against Southampton last week, but that hard work could be undone away at Hull on Saturday. The Tigers are in the relegation zone and are looking to escape with a win.
West Ham could find themselves in the bottom three if that is to happen. The Hammers are only a point above the drop zone and face the most difficult game of any of the relegation candidates, an away day at Liverpool. The Reds might have squandered a 3-1 lead at Bournemouth last week, but they are still one of the best teams in the league and a title contender. Do not be shocked to see West Ham in the drop zone and Slaven Bilic possibly sacked as the weekend concludes.
What else is happening?
Arsenal have not lost a game since the opening day of the season and sit in second place as a result. The Gunners will look to keep up the pressure on Chelsea with a home win against an in form Stoke.
Burnley are the Jekyll and Hyde of the Premier League. They are a completely different side at Turf Moor than they are away. They are at home this time around though against a Bournemouth side who defeated Liverpool last week.
Southampton host Middlesbrough on Sunday. The Saints have not had a good week after crashing out of the Europa League. Can they respond against Boro? The weekend’s action kicks off with a mid-table clash with Watford.
Watford 2-1 Everton
Arsenal 2-0 Stoke
Burnley 1-0 Bournemouth
Hull 1-1 Crystal Palace
Swansea 1-1 Sunderland
Leicester 1-2 Man City
Chelsea 2-0 West Brom
Man United 1-1 Tottenham
Southampton 1-0 Middlesbrough
Liverpool 3-1 West Ham
The Premier League continues on the weekend of the 10th-12th December
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