Premier League Preview: Saturday’s Matches

Premier League Preview: Saturday’s Matches

by June 19, 2020 0 comments

The return of the Premier League comes with a congested fixture list that continues on Saturday with four matches. The primetime lights will be on each as all matches were given their own time slot. With nine matches remaining, the points are now at a premium.

Watford vs. Leicester City | 7:30 a.m. ET

These teams are at opposite ends of the table as Leicester sits in third while Watford is 17th. Watford is only out of relegation based on goal difference so they really need to start claiming points. If Leicester were to slip up, a once-comfortable champions league spot will suddenly become up for grabs.

The main man will undeniably be Jamie Vardy of Leicester. The Foxes’ top scorer proves he’s a constant threat each week and should garner all of the attention from the defense. However, Brendan Rogers, Leicester’s manager, doesn’t always have to rely on him as he has. plenty of other playmakers, too. James Maddison and Ayoze Perez are always capable of picking up the slack should Vardy have an off night.

The Hornets continue to put their hopes on 31-year-old Troy Deeney. Perhaps the break will allow him to come back fresh as they’ll certainly need his goals. Without Deeney, it’s hard to predict where the goals will come from and that’s a reason this team is fighting for league status survival.

Prediction: Leicester City 2, Watford 0

Brighton vs. Arsenal | 10:00 a.m. ET

Brighton will rarely do anything that excites you, but it’s their tough mentally that carries them to claiming points. They’re a classic example of a team that works as a unit and needs to capitalize on set pieces. Every year they are in the Premier League, they will struggle for their survival but play decent soccer with those expectations. Thankfully for them, they could be catching Arsenal at the perfect time.

The Gunners are definitely a club going through a major rebuild. Manager Mikel Arteta continues to try and play young players as they make determinations on where they most need to spend money this summer. While European slots are still in reach for them, they are likely out of it with too many teams to jump. With not much of a break between season’s end and the start of a new year, it’s probably best that they continue working towards player development for next season.

Prediction: Brighton 1, Arsenal 1

West Ham vs. Wolverhampton | 12:30 p.m. ET

West Ham might actually benefit from playing without spectators. They were always getting booed after each bad play. Unfortunately for them, that was far too often for anyone’s liking. Perhaps now they can relax and play more freely while expressing themselves on the pitch. The Hammers will be hoping it helps as the opponent won’t present an easy challenge.

The Wolves will look to continue an already impressive campaign. Doing well both domestically and in Europe, the Wolves could be building themselves into a perennial threat in the top of the table. While they have the players to get the job done, they are managed incredibly well under Nuno Santo. He ensures they are never an easy team to score on as they will physically grind teams down over the course of 90 minutes. His game plan should prevail defensively while Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore provide the winning goals.

Prediction: Wolves 2, West Ham 0

Bournemouth vs. Crystal Palace | 2:45 p.m. ET

Seeing Bournemouth in the relegation spot this late in the season is a bit of a surprise. Manager Eddie Howe usually does enough though to avoid such fate and that quest begins during this restart. With goals hard to come by all season long, expect him to start grinding out one-point results. Style points no longer matter at this point as long as you’re in the Premier League next season. If goals are needed in this fixture, Joshua King and Callum Wilson should be enough to equalize.

For Palace, this restart could be about maximizing the highlight reels for sensation Wilfried Zaha so the club can cash in this summer. There isn’t much to play for in these last nine games so the Eagles could prioritize the idea that he stars in whatever success they are able to have. A big-ticket sale this summer could be enough to reinvest in the squad and set them up for long-term sustained success. Allowing their supporters to not have to worry each season about survival could bring positive energy to the grounds each match week.

Prediction: Bournemouth 1, Palace 1

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