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Premier League Saturday Preview – Matchday 16

Another exciting Premier League weekend is lying ahead as we take a quick look at Saturday’s matches.

Brentford’s stunning late comeback that saw them beat Watford 2-1 at home on Friday night served as an ideal introduction to Matchday 16. 

Manchester City vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Saturday’s Premier League action kicks off at the Etihad Stadium with an exciting encounter between league-leaders Manchester City and top-half Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Coming into this matchday, the Cityzens fell to a 2-1 away defeat at RB Leipzig in midweek Champions League action, halting a run of seven consecutive wins in all competitions.

However, Pep Guardiola’s men have been on an upward curve in the Premier League of late, putting together five successive triumphs since a 2-0 home loss to Crystal Palace in late October.

City inflicted a comprehensive Premier League double on Wolverhampton last season, winning both league H2Hs by 3+ goals ‘to one.’

That’s not the kind of news Wolves want to hear as they head into proceedings having failed to get on the scoresheet in their last three top-flight outings (D2, L1).

Another reverse here could throw their top-four hopes into doubt, considering they are currently languishing in eighth in the table, six points adrift of fourth-placed West Ham United.

Arsenal vs Southampton

Arsenal will be looking to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they meet mid-table Southampton at the Emirates Stadium.

Following a run of eight Premier League matches without losing (W6, D2), the Gunners have suffered three defeats in their last four league fixtures (W1).

Despite scoring the opening goal against Manchester United and Everton in their last two top-flight games, Arsenal lost both encounters due to lack of concentration in the later stages of play.

The hosts’ chances of launching a new winning streak look promising, given that they are unbeaten in all 22 Premier League H2Hs in the capital.

Southampton, who are one defeat away from equalling the club’s worst record in the 21st century of 15 away losses in the Premier League in a single calendar year, go into this round on the back of four league games without a win (D2, L2).

A poor away form has seen the Saints score an average of just 0.85 goals per away league match this season while conceding 2.0 per game in return.

Liverpool vs Aston Villa

One of the most romantic stories of Premier League Matchday 16 pits new Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard against his beloved Liverpool at Anfield.

Having spent his entire playing career at Liverpool, Gerrard made his managerial return to the Premier League in November as part of Villa’s bid to contest a top-four finish.

During his brief spell in charge, the ex-Rangers manager has sparked a mini-revival at Villa Park, racking up three victories in his four Premier League matches (L1).

Gerrard’s side will have to be at their best as they take on the most prolific Premier League side in Liverpool, who already have 44 goals to their name after just 15 rounds.

Jurgen Klopp’s men have won their last six matches in all competitions, including a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over AC Milan in Tuesday’s Champions League affair.

Yet to lose a single Premier League home game this term (W4, D3), the Reds are only one point below top-placed Man City, meaning their title pursuit is still very much on.

Chelsea vs Leeds United

Stamford Bridge is the venue as Chelsea and Leeds United go head-to-head in contrasting circumstances.

Despite going winless in two of their last three Premier League outings (W1, D1, L1), the Blues sit only two points adrift of the summit.

Chelsea turned a 2-1 half-time lead into a 3-2 loss at West Ham last time out, which was only the second time in 34 Premier League matches under Thomas Tuchel that they conceded more than twice.

Leeds’ visit to Stamford Bridge looks like a perfect opportunity for the London side to bounce back and break a run of back-to-back home league draws.

In the meantime, Chelsea’s dip in form could give the Whites an outside chance of posting their first Premier League win in West London since November 2000. 

They have since lost all four top-flight visits to Stamford Bridge by an aggregate score of 9-3.

But Leeds’ away form suggests otherwise, with Marcelo Bielsa’s men collecting just one victory in their seven Premier League travels this season (D3, L3).

Norwich City vs Manchester United

Saturday’s Premier League action concludes at Carrow Road as basement boys Norwich City lock horns with Manchester United.

A 3-0 drubbing at Tottenham last time out halted the Canaries’ run of four successive Premier League games without losing (W2, D2), marking their second scoring blank in three league matches.

Dean Smith’s men have struggled in front of goal this season, netting a league-low eight goals while drawing a blank in nine of their 15 top-flight outings so far.

Sat within a three-point distance of safety, Norwich will be desperate to bring a three-game losing Premier League H2H streak to an end.

But under the stewardship of new interim boss Ralf Rangnick, Man United are hot favourites following their narrow 1-0 home win over Crystal Palace on the German’s Premier League debut.

With three points separating them from fourth-placed West Ham ahead of this round, the Red Devils are close to achieving their primary target and returning into the Premier League top four.

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