Premier League previews 2019-20

Premier League preview Crystal Palace v Arsenal
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Premier League Preview: Crystal Palace v. Arsenal

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Arsenal looks to keep a third-straight clean sheet when it visits Wilfried Zaha and Crystal Palace on Saturday (Watch Live at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The Gunners’ improved form meets an Eagles side with plenty of absences, as Andros Townsend and Jeff Schlupp remain injured and Luka Milivojevic is suspended.

Palace may include new loan signing Cenk Tosun.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Palace has found points in 14 of 21 matches this season, including a 2-2 draw with the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium. It should be noted that the Eagles benefited from a wildly controversial VAR decision that deprived Sokratis Papastathopoulos a match-winning goal.

Tenth-place Arsenal is a point back of Palace, nine points off the Top Four.


Injuries/suspensions

Crystal Palace: OUT —  Andros Townsend, Jeff Schlupp, Joel Ward, Luka Milivojevic, Christian Benteke, Scott Dann, Patrick Van Aanholt, Mamadou Sakho. QUESTIONABLE — Wilfried Zaha.

Arsenal: OUT — Kieran Tierney, Calum Chambers, Hector Bellerin. QUESTIONABLE — Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang


Probable lineups

Crystal Palace: Guaita, Riedewald, Kouyate, Tomkins, Kelly, Kirby, McCarthy, McArthur, Zaha, Ayew, Tosun.

Arsenal: Leno, Kolasinac, Luiz, Mustafi, Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Xhaka, Ozil, Pepe, Lacazette, Martinelli.


What they’re saying

Palace’s Roy Hodgson on the season’s expectations: “Well, I guess with the incredible number of injuries, we are perhaps exceeding them, and I am more than happy with our current situation and where we are. But the only relevance is what the table looks like in May. We have a lot of games to play. It is pleasant to go into games in a comfortable position, but we know how quickly that can change. It is the performance that counts and we have to give the type of performance necessary to get results. If we are a better team than Arsenal, as perhaps the table suggests at the moment, we have to go out and prove it by going and beating Arsenal tomorrow.”

Mesut Ozil on new manager and former teammate Mikel Arteta: “Every manager is different and obviously I have had some world class managers throughout my career. Mikel Arteta is different to the others but he is very focused on the ball and wants to make us very successful and I think he is the right man at this club. … Time flies quite quickly and I remember when he went to work with Pep Guardiola at Man City, it was quite obvious he would become a manager soon. I am really happy that he is here with us at the moment because this is the right time. We are all happy to have him here.”


Prediction

Home field is a huge advantage for Palace, but the injury list is so long that it’s difficult to believe in the Eagles’ chances to pull out a win. Arsenal, 2-0

Premier League Preview: Tottenham Hotspur v. Liverpool

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Tottenham Hotspur would love to be the club to end Liverpool’s unbeaten Premier League season when the two sides meet in North London on Saturday (Watch Live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

Jose Mourinho insists his club believes it can a result despite the dour mood accompanying Harry Kane’s injury.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Liverpool is facing injuries, too, but its trident remains healthy and led by Player of the Season candidate Sadio Mane.

The Reds hold a 13-point lead on the Premier League field and have a match-in-hand on everyone except West Ham United.

Spurs are still very much a part of the race for the Top Four should they be able to again navigate a long Kane absence. Tottenham is six points back of fourth place Chelsea.


Injuries/suspensions

Spurs: OUT —  Harry Kane, Hugo Lloris, Ben Davies, Tanguy Ndombele, Moussa Sissoko. QUESTIONABLE — Danny Rose.

Liverpool: OUT — Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, Fabinho, James Milner, Naby Keita, Nathaniel Clyne. QUESTIONABLE — Xherdan Shaqiri.


Probable lineups

Spurs: Gazzaniga; Vertonghen, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Sessegnon, Dier, Lo Celso, Dele, Aurier; Lucas, Son.

Liverpool: Alisson, Robertson, Van Dijk, Gomez, Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Mane, Firmino, Salah.


What they’re saying

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho on facing Liverpool: “It’s the best team in our competition, just to say that – I could say more than that. We would prefer to play against them with everybody available. … But again that’s the way it is and we worked hard in the week, and the boys that are available, of course they are happy to play and when somebody doesn’t play you open the opportunity for somebody else, and we know the situation. We know how good they are, we can imagine that in this room only two persons think that we can win. Maybe only two, but we believe (puts his arm around Spurs’ press officer). We have to believe. If you don’t believe, get out man.”

Jurgen Klopp on Jose Mourinho: “A world-class manager with a specific mindset. He wants to win. I respect that a lot. Each situation his team is in he tries to use. That is how managers work. The good news is, we don’t play. We send out two teams and we have to make sure it works out. I don’t think anyone wants to play us right now. Spurs are never easy but they are now so let’s see.”


Prediction

Liverpool’s biggest question mark is in the midfield, but Tottenham’s hit there, too. We imagine this one will be a bit cagier than usual, perhaps even a surprise 1-1.

Premier League Preview: Sheffield United v. West Ham United

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The Premier League gets back in business on Friday at Bramall Lane when Sheffield United hosts West Ham United (Watch Live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Their table fortunes are indicative of the Premier League’s lack of clear tiers so far this season.

Blades are two points off fifth and seven back of the Top Four, while West Ham is two points off the drop zone and a win off 11th.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

West Ham cruised past Bournemouth in opening David Moyes‘ second tenure with the Irons, while the Blades are coming off back-to-back losses and are winless in three.

The sides met Oct. 26 in London, with Lys Mousset‘s goal leveling the line after Robert Snodgrass put West Ham up at home.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE


Injuries/suspensions

Sheffield United: OUT —  None. QUESTIONABLE — Michael Verrips, Simon Moore.

West Ham United: OUT — Michail Antonio, Andriy Yarmolenko, Ryan Fredericks, Mark Noble, Jack Wilshere. QUESTIONABLE — Aaron Cresswell, Mark Noble.


Probable lineups

Sheffield United: Henderson; Egan, Basham, O’Connell, Stevens, Norwood, Fleck, Besic, Baldock, Mousset, McGoldrick.

West Ham United: Fabianski, Cresswell, Ogbonna, Balbuena, Fredericks, Rice, Noble, Fornals, Anderson, Snodgrass, Haller.


What they’re saying

Blades defender John Egan on rebounding from tough losses: “They were really tough trips to (Man) City and Liverpool. They’re probably the two best teams in the country, so going away to them was always going to be tough. The Man City game, we were quite unlucky not to get a result. … The Liverpool game was a bit of an eye-opener for us. We weren’t at our best, which we have to be to try and get a result. We came away from those two games, saw where we went wrong and we have to learn from it. All we can do is try and get better so next time we play these teams we have a better chance of getting a result.”

West Ham boss Moyes on transfer links: “I think West Ham have been linked with just about every player in the country and I’m here a week and a half, so it’s interesting, but I think that’s the norm for here. Quite often we are linked with a lot of players. We won’t be bringing in a bundle of players in, but obviously we’d like to add to the squad if we can. Gedson Fernandes is one name we’re talking about. He’s a young player with potential, probably more for the future. From that point of view, I’d like to bring young players in for the future, players we can look to build to get a strong, young team, but I also have to be wary that I need players who are ready for now and can feature in the first team as well.”


Prediction

The Blades are a handful, but West Ham’s new lease on life also feels pretty real. How about another split of the spoils and 1-1 at Bramall Lane?

Premier League Preview: Liverpool v. Sheffield United

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The hectic holiday period has but one day — and one game — left before Premier League clubs get a weekend off turn their attention to the FA Cup this weekend. Leaders Liverpool can re-establish their 13-point lead, with a game in hand, on second-place Leicester City with a win over the 2019-20 season’s most surprising side thus far, 8th-place Sheffield United, at Anfield (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).

Leicester cut Liverpool’s lead down to 10 points with their 3-0 dismantling of Newcastle United on Wednesday, while Manchester City trimmed their own deficit to 11 points with their 2-1 win over Everton.

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With 55 points (out of 57) from their first 19 games, Liverpool are on pace (109) to not only break, but shatter, Man City’s single-season points record (100) from two seasons ago.

As for Sheffield United, the Blades will be aiming to replicate their strong first half of the season and become the latest newly promoted side to crack the PL’s top-half in season no. 1. Wolverhampton Wanderers finished seventh last season; with Norwich City (20th) and Aston Villa (17th) mired at the bottom of the table, it is solely up to Sheffield United to carry the flag for the Championship graduates.

Injuries/suspensions

Liverpool: OUT – Fabinho (ankle), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (ankle), Joel Matip (knee), Dejan Lovren (hamstring), Nathaniel Clyne (knee)

Sheffield Utd: OUT – John Lundstram (ankle)


Projected lineups

Liverpool: Alisson — Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson — Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keita — Salah, Firmino, Mane

Sheffield Utd: Henderson — Basham, Egan, O’Connell — Baldock, Besic, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens — Robinson, Mousset


What they’re saying

Adam Lallana, on finishing the job: “We can’t take our foot off the gas. We want to maintain that form going into the new year and keep Anfield a fortress.”

Muhamed Besic, on bouncing back quickly: “We have to concentrate now on recovering and then go again against Liverpool. We are a really, really great group. We all stick together. We just look at ourselves (and not the opponent) … We will not change our style of play. We will just go again.”


Prediction

An early Liverpool goal will draw the Blades more and more open, which is the absolute last place any side — let alone a newly promoted one like Sheffield United — want to be. Liverpool 2-0 Sheffield United.

Premier League Preview: Arsenal v. Manchester United

Premier League Preview: Arsenal v. Manchester United
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Manchester United looks to continue its Top Four push with a visit from longtime rivals Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday (Watch Live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Arsenal has lost four consecutive home matches in all competitions. The Gunners have never lost five-straight. Never.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to their opponent, as United has lost three of its last four at the Emirates Stadium. But the Red Devils are also in fine form, having lost only twice in their last 12.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Arsenal could bring its fans a big sense of calm and ease plenty of player concerns with a first big win for manager Mikel Arteta.


Injuries/suspensions

Arsenal: OUT — Kieran Tierney, Sead Kolasinac, Sokratis Papastathopoulos. QUESTIONABLE — Dani Ceballos, Hector Bellerin, Gabriel Martinelli, Rob Holding, Granit Xhaka, Calum Chambers.

Man Utd: OUT — Scott McTominay. QUESTIONABLE — Marcos Rojo, Paul Pogba, Eric Bailly, Timothy Fosu-Mensah.


Probable lineups

Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Mustafi, Luiz, Saka, Guendouzi, Torreira, Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette.

Man Utd: De Gea, Shaw, Maguire, Lindelof, Wan-Bissaka, Fred, Matic, Pogba, Martial, Rashford, James.


What they’re saying

Arsenal teen Saka loving life under Arteta: “He’s someone who understands the players, understands the club and all the ideas that he’s bringing in,” he said. “He has a clear strategy of how he wants us to play and we’re just really excited to work with him. He’s teaching us little things that we didn’t know before and just bringing in his own strategies, his own ways of playing. We can see that it’s going to work, we’re just looking forward to doing it.”

Solskjaer on the Man Utd squad’s future: “I’m always an optimist. I’m a striker by nature and I’ve always been an optimist. I’m optimistic we can keep players fit and if the right ones become available we do have the resources and I do have the backing from the board. But it’s also about getting the right ones. It has to be. There’s no point suddenly bringing someone else in now for the sake of three or four months if that can disrupt any good feeling or chemistry in the group, because the chemistry in the group is really good.


Prediction

Depends on a variable. If Paul Pogba starts, United has enough to claim all three points. If he doesn’t, it’s still reasonable for the Red Devils to expect a result. We’ll say 1-1.