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Saturday Premier League Preview: Matchday 15

Premier League clubs have no time to rest after an intense midweek action as we enter the business end of the calendar year.

From a mouth-watering London derby between West Ham United and Chelsea to Manchester City’s trip to Watford, let’s have a look at what promises to be an enthralling Saturday in the Premier League. 

West Ham United vs Chelsea

Saturday’s Premier League action kicks off at the London Stadium with an all-London meeting between fourth-placed West Ham and league-leaders Chelsea.

Three consecutive league matches without a win (D1, L2) have seen the Hammers stumble out of the blocks on the back of November’s international break.

That’s not a good piece of news for David Moyes, especially with his side losing both last season’s top-flight games against Chelsea by an aggregate score of 4-0. 

Meanwhile, a 2-1 win away at Watford in midweek extended the Blues’ unbeaten league run to eight straight fixtures (W6, D2), setting them up nicely for this top-four six-pointer.

Newcastle United vs Burnley

St James’ Park plays host to a Premier League relegation battle between rock-bottom Newcastle United and 18th-placed Burnley.

Despite recently being bought by a wealthy Saudi-led consortium, nothing seems to be going the Magpies’ way this season.

Eddie Howe’s men go into proceedings as the only side yet to win a single Premier League match this term (D7, L7), facing a genuine threat of being relegated.

Newcastle have no margin for error anymore, and they will likely have to work their socks off if they are to beat a stubborn Burnley side.

Coming into this matchday, the Clarets have strung together five Premier League games without defeat (W1, D4), closing the gap on 17th-placed Watford to three points in the process.

Southampton vs Brighton & Hove Albion

The two out-of-sorts teams are set to trade tackles at St Mary’s Stadium as 15th-placed Southampton take on mid-table Brighton & Hove Albion. 

Both sides have started their busy December schedule by drawing their respective fixtures.

While the Saints were pegged back twice in a 2-2 home draw with Leicester City, the Seagulls notched up a late equaliser to hold West Ham to a 1-1 stalemate in the capital. 

A point against the Hammers took Brighton’s winless run in the Premier League to nine matches (D7, L2), reinforcing their mid-table status.

As for Southampton, a frustrating draw with the Midlands outfit halted their run of back-to-back league defeats, though it’s now been a month since they last won in the Premier League.

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Liverpool

Molineux Stadium is the venue as out-of-form Wolverhampton Wanderers meet high-flying Liverpool.

Despite winning just one from their last four Premier League outings (D2, L1), Wolves enter this round within a three-point distance of the coveted Champions League places.

Returning to Molineux, where they’ve won three of their last four top-flight games (D1), will encourage the Wanderers’ bid to snap an eight-match winless home league streak against Liverpool (D3, L5).

Adding to Wolves’ confidence, they’ve kept three Premier League clean sheets in a row heading into this fixture, as many as they had in their previous 18 games in the competition.

Bruno Lage’s men will have to bring their defensive A-game to the table if they are to keep the league’s most prolific attack quiet.

Jurgen Klopp’s men have netted a league-high 43 goals in the Premier League so far this term, scoring 2+ goals in their last 18 games in all competitions.

Watford vs Manchester City

Watford and Manchester City go head-to-head at Vicarage Road in contrasting circumstances. 

The Hornets have lost their last two Premier League matches in a row and are currently hovering just three points clear of the relegation zone.

Meanwhile, the Cityzens are enjoying a four-game winning league streak and trail pacesetters Chelsea by a single point.

Another straightforward task looks to be lying ahead of Man City, who have never lost a Premier League encounter against Watford, winning ten of their 12 previous H2Hs in the competition (D2).

However, Claudio Ranieri’s men will be motivated to defy the odds and stage one of the upsets of the season, having already taken down Manchester United this season.

Watford face a rare opportunity to beat both Manchester clubs in a single league season for the first time since 1986/87.

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