Friday, 24 February 2017

Seb's GW26 Preview (Part 1)

Chelsea vs Swansea

Predicted Line Ups and Notable Team News:

-Chelsea-



- Courtois is recovering from a stomach virus, but could still start for the Blues

- Matic should hold off competition from Fabregas for a spot in central midfield

- Pedro will almost certainly start ahead of Willian after a goal in GW25


-Swansea-




- Nathan Dyer has been ruled out for the season, meaning that Wayne Routledge, Jordan Ayew and Luciano Narsingh will fight it out for a spot on the right wing


Key Match Facts:

-Swansea are unbeaten in 3 games against Chelsea

- The Blues have not kept a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge against Swansea since 2013

- Diego Costa has scored 7 goals in his 4 games against Swansea

- Gylfi Sigurdsson has scored more PL goals (4) against Chelsea that he has against any other side

Score Prediction:

Chelsea 3 (Costa x2, Pedro) | Swansea 1 (Llorente)


Crystal Palace vs Middlesbrough

Predicted Line Ups and Notable Team News:

-Crystal Palace-



- Scott Dann will be touch and go for this match following a strained hamstring

- Steve Mandanda is returning to full fitness, but the weekend may come too soon

- After two losses in a row and now deep in the relegation fight, Allardyce may decide to drastically change up his attacking options. This may see Cabaye, Remy and Schlupp earn recalls after solid cameos off the bench last GW

-Middlesbrough-


 - Antonio Barragan, George Friend and Calum Chambers are all facing late fitness tests

- The rest of the side will remain unchanged

Key Match Facts:

- Palace have failed to score in 4 of their last 5 games

- Middlesbrough have the 3rd best away defence in the league this season, only conceding 13 goals

- Palace have won 10 out of the last 15 league meetings against Boro at Selhurst Park

- Wilfried Zaha has been involved in 4 goals in his past 2 games vs Boro


Score Prediction:

Crystal Palace 1 (Cabaye) | Middlesbrough 1 (Stuani)



Everton vs Sunderland

Predicted Line Ups and Notable Team News:

-Everton-



- Lukaku, McCarthy and Mirallas have all been passed fit

- Koeman should continue with a back four, but a change in shape further up the field may occur to accommodate Mirallas

- If this occurs, Morgan Schneiderlin looks set to retain his spot in central midfield, leaving Gueye, Davies and McCarthy in a battle for the final spot.

- Barkley and Lookman appear sure starters 

-Sunderland-


- The fit again Jordan Pickford will battle it out with Vito Mannone for a place in goals, with the latter looking more likely to start

- Moyes should keep faith in his starting xi despite the loss last GW

Key Match Facts:

- Everton have lost 2 of their past 3 home games vs Sunderland

- However, Sunderland have lost 5 of their past 6 away games this season

- Everton are yet to lose at Goodison Park

Score Prediction:

Everton 4 (Lukaku x2, Mirallas, Barkley) | Sunderland 0


Hull vs Burnley

Predicted Line Ups and Notable Team News:

-Hull-


- Sam Clucas is suspended following his red card last GW, and will likely be replaced by Evandro

- This should see and change in formation, with Silva switching from 4-1-4-1 to a 4-2-3-1


-Burnley-


- An unchanged line up is likely

Key Match Facts:

- Burnley have only won 4 out of their 49 away games in their time in the PL, but 2 of these wins have come against Hull

- Whereas Hull have only lost 5/12 home games this season, Burnley have not won away from home this season, with 10 losses out of 11 games

- In this match, Hull will be playing to become the first team in the club's history to win 3 successive home games

Score Prediction:

Hull 2 (Markovic, Niasse) | Burnley 0

West Brom vs Bournemouth

Predicted Line Ups and Notable Team News:

-West Brom-


Jonny Evans will be pushing for a recall, but may have to bide his time before returning to the starting line up

- An unchanged xi looks likely

-Bournemouth-



- Simon Francis is highly unlikely to be ready to start in this match following a hamstring strain. This should see Tyrone Mings slot in at centre back

- Jack Wilshere has recovered from an ankle injury, so he should start at no. 10, allowing Josh King to continue up front

- Fraser and Ibe seem likely to start on the wings, with Stanislas on the bench again

Key Match Facts:

- Bournemouth are undefeated in 4 matches vs West Brom

- However, the Cherries have conceded the most goals this calendar year (18), whilst the 
Baggies have only conceded 8

- West Brom have scored 12 headed goals this season, whilst Bournemouth 11 headed goals conceded - a clear strength for West Brom and weakness for Bournemouth

Score Prediction:

West Brom 2 (Rondon, Chadli) | Bournemouth 1 (King)


Watford vs West Ham

Predicted Line Ups and Notable Team News:

-Watford-


- Sebastian Prödl and Craig Cathcart, Valon Behrami are facing late fitness tests, whilst Christian Kabasele is out.

- This could see a change in formation, with Mazzarri possibly switching from 3-4-3 to a 4-4-1

-West Ham-


- Andy Carroll is nearing full fitness and has a chance of starting, but this game may come too soon for him.

- Aaron Cresswell has fully recovered from his dead leg injury, and will start at left back

Key Match Facts:

- Watford have won 3 out of their last 4 games against West Ham

- Watford have only kept 2 clean sheets from 12 home games this season

- West Ham have scored 3 goals in each away game since Dimitri Payet left the club

- Since Payet’s departure, Manuel Lanzini has stepped up, with 2 goals, 2 assists and 8 BPs in his last 4 starts

Score Prediction:

Watford 1 (Zarate) | West Ham 3 (Feghouli, Antonio, Lanzini)


Tottenham vs Stoke

Predicted Line Ups and Notable Team News:

-Tottenham-



- After a disappointing loss last GW to Liverpool, Pochettinho will likely revert back to a 3-4-2-1 in GW26

- This should see Jan Vertonghen come in for Son Heung-Min

- Danny Rose is still a few weeks away from returning to full training, so Ben Davies will again deputise at left back

-Stoke-


- Glen Johnson should keep his place at right back

- Xherdan Shaqiri is fit again, but will face a tough battle for a spot on the right wing following impressive performances from Ramadan Sobhi

- Saido Berahino will challenge Peter Crouch for the lone striker role

Key Match Facts:

- Spurs have beaten Stoke 4-0 in each of their past 2 meetings. However, both of these wins have come at bet 365.com stadium

- Stoke are unbeaten in 2 league games at White Hart Lane, and have only lost their once in their past 4 visits

- Tottenham have kept the most clean sheets at home this season (8 in 12 games), whilst they have scored 26 goals (2.2 per games) there

- Both Kane and Alli have 3 goals in their past 3 games against Stoke

Score Predictions:

Tottenham 4 (Kane, Eriksen, Alli, Son) | Stoke 0

Leicester vs Liverpool

Predicted Line Ups and Notable Team News:

-Leicester-


- Despite the heartless sacking of Claudio Ranieri, it is unlikely that Leicester will change their shape just yet

- An unchanged line up may be seen, but Islam Slimani could  force his way into the starting xi, either pushing Demarai Gray out of the line up or onto the left wing

-Liverpool-


- Dejan Lovren will most likely fail to recover from a knee injury, paving the way for Lucas Leiva to start at centre back

- No other changes are expected

Key Match Facts:

- It is yet to be seen how Ranieri’s departure will affect the Leicester squad

- The Foxes have only beaten Liverpool once in their past 5 encounters with them

- Liverpool have won more away games against reigning PL champions than any other side

- Liverpool are without an away win in 3 games

- The Foxes have failed to score a goal in 6 successive PL games

Score Prediction:

Leicester 1 (Vardy) | Liverpool 3 (Mané, Firmino, Lallana)


STAY TUNED FOR PART 2

MY ANALYSIS OF THIS WEEK'S TOP CAPTAIN PICKS


By Sebastian Candido

(Twitter: @_FFM_Seb)