Midweek Premier League action closes out on Thursday and it’s time to preview the three remaining Matchday 17 fixtures.
Leicester City vs Tottenham Hotspur
Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur go head-to-head in a mouth-watering Premier League encounter at the King Power Stadium.
Leicester cashed in on Newcastle’s ever-growing crisis, cruising to a landslide 4-0 victory at this venue over the weekend to halt a run of consecutive league matches without a win (D1, L1).
However, stuck in mid-table lethargy, Brendan Rodgers’ men have to launch a substantial winning streak if they are to return in contention for a top-four finish.
Given they have a couple of formidable tasks in the shape of Manchester City and Liverpool waiting in the wings in the remainder of the calendar year, this could be a momentum-building fixture for Leicester.
Unfortunately, they have an in-form Tottenham standing in their way.
Spurs have hit the ground running under the stewardship of Antonio Conte, racking up a three-game winning run in the Premier League, including a clear-cut 3-0 victory over Norwich City at the weekend.
Even though they are currently seventh in the league table, the Londoners are only four points below fourth-placed Arsenal with three games in hand.
After winning two of their last two top-flight visits to the King Power Stadium by a two-goal margin, Tottenham will feel confident of keeping their renaissance going.
Chelsea vs Everton
Stamford Bridge is the venue as third-placed Chelsea meet bottom-half Everton in what appears to be a seemingly straightforward Premier League task for the hosts.
Thomas Tuchel’s side benefited from two second-half penalties against Leeds United at the weekend, coming from behind to beat the Whites 3-2 at home.
A nail-biting triumph over Marcelo Bielsa’s strugglers saw the Blues restore some confidence following a frustrating 3-2 defeat at West Ham United ten days ago.
Back to Stamford Bridge, where they are unbeaten in the last five home league games (W3, D2), should inspire Chelsea’s bid to reduce a five-point gap on top-placed Man City.
Having an underperforming Everton side standing in their way further helps the hosts’ cause.
Rafael Benitez’s men have failed to build on a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Arsenal, as they succumbed to an embarrassing 3-1 loss at Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The Toffees have now won just one of their last ten Premier League outings (D2, L7), which sums up the sack talks involving Benitez in a nutshell.
Everton already look like a doomed outfit here, having lost their last four top-flight travels on the trot.
Liverpool vs Newcastle United
Second-placed Liverpool and second-from-bottom Newcastle United will square off at Anfield in contrasting circumstances.
Like their direct title rivals Man City and Chelsea, the Reds capitalised on a match-winning penalty on Saturday.
Mohamed Salah converted an all-important spot-kick to hand his side a 1-0 win over Aston Villa, stretching Liverpool’s winning run in the Premier League to five games.
Following the Cityzens’ 7-0 thumping of Leeds on Tuesday, the Merseyside heavyweights have an example to follow, as they now trail Pep Guardiola’s team by four points.
But with relegation-threatened Newcastle set to arrive in the city amid an ever-growing crisis, the stage looks all but set for another celebratory evening at Anfield.
A 1-0 home win over fellow relegation strugglers Burnley a fortnight ago could be considered a fluke, given it remains the Mapgies’ solitary Premier League success this term (D7, L8).
Naming Newcastle’s league start a disaster would be an understatement, but the Tynesiders are still within touching distance of safety, with 17th-placed Watford only three points away.
It’s easy to assume Newcastle’s pursuit of their first Premier League away win of the season will have to wait for a more realistic opportunity as they’ve won none of their last 25 league visits to Anfield (D5, L20).
Read also: Champions League round of 16 draw – The previous meetings.
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- Tottenham rejected by Niko Kovac amid search for Conte’s successor