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Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City Welcome The Saints To The Ethiad As The Race For The Title Intensifies. Plus Full Week 14 EPL Preview

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TUESDAYS WEEK 14 PREVIEW

LEICESTER CITY VS TOTTENHAM

Erik Lamela could make his first Tottenham appearance for over a year at Leicester on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old has undergone operations on each of his hips and has not played since October 25, 2016.

However, after returning to training early last month, he is expected to be on the bench to face the Foxes, as Spurs look to bounce back from their 1-1 home draw with West Brom on Saturday.

Leicester’s form has improved since the appointment of Claude Puel, with their only defeat under the new manager coming against Man City. They drew 1-1 with West Ham on Friday

Leicester will have an unchanged squad. Central defender Robert Huth (ankle) and midfielder Matty James (Achilles) remain out injured but they are the only players unavailable.

Few changes are expected from the team that started the draw at West Ham on Friday but the likes of Ben Chilwell, Andy King, Kelechi Iheanacho, Islam Slimani and Shinji Okazaki are options for Puel.

Leicester have kept only one clean sheet in their last 21 home matches against Tottenham in all competitions – 3-0 in September 1997, with Kasey Keller in between the sticks that day.

Spurs have netted 11 Premier League goals in just four matches at the King Power Stadium (W3 D1 L0), compared to netting just seven goals in seven visits at Filbert Street in the competition (W1 D1 L5).

Tottenham have lost their last two Premier League away games – they haven’t lost three in succession on the road in the competition since March 2014 under Tim Sherwood.

After netting four goals in their victory over Liverpool on October 22nd from 14 shots (29 per cent conversion rate), Tottenham have scored two goals in their four games since despite attempting 64 shots in total (3 per cent conversion rate).

Christian Eriksen hasn’t scored or assisted a goal in his last five Premier League appearances – his longest run without a goal involvement within a single season since January 2016.

WATFORD VS MANCHESTER UNITED

Jose Mourinho knows Manchester United have little room for error as they travel to Watford on Tuesday night.

United were largely unimpressive during Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League victory over Brighton, with Mourinho admitting his side are far from their best form of late.

Neighbours and title rivals Man City won late on against Huddersfield on Sunday to restore their eight-point advantage over United at the top of the table, and any more slip-ups from the Red Devils could effectively end their title hopes before the New Year.

A trip to Marco Silva’s in-form Watford, therefore, comes at a tricky time for United – especially as the Red Devils were comprehensively beaten 3-1 by the Hornets at Vicarage Road last season.

Watford captain Troy Deeney returns after completing a three-match suspension. Defender Miguel Britos is a doubt after suffering a knock in the 3-0 victory over Newcastle and will be given a late fitness test.

Defenders Craig Cathcart (knee) and Younes Kaboul (hamstring), midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah (knee) and forward Isaac Success (knee) are likely to miss out once more.

Watford have lost 12 of their last 13 games against Manchester United in all competitions, winning the other in the Premier League in this exact fixture last season (3-1).

Manchester United have lost their last two Premier League away games; 1-2 at Huddersfield Town and 0-1 at Chelsea. They haven’t lost three successive league away games since January 1996.

Watford’s 21-point tally from 13 games is their joint top-flight record at this stage of a season, tied with their best league campaign; when they finished 2nd in the 1982-83 season (also 21 points after 13 games).

Richarlison has been involved in seven goals in his last eight Premier League appearances for Watford (four goals, three assists).

Romelu Lukaku could make his 200th Premier League appearance in this match – he currently has 93 goals. Only 10 players have scored more goals than this in their opening 200 appearances in the competition, with Alan Shearer (145) leading the way.

OTHER TUESDAY WEEK 14 FIXTURES

Brighton & Hove Albion VS Crystal Palace

West Bromwich Albion VS Newcastle United

 

WEDNESDAY WEEK 14 PREVIEW

ARSENAL VS HUDDERSFIELD TOWN

Arsenal clawed back into the top four with a narrow 1-0 win at Burnley on the weekend, which was further aided by Tottenham’s 1-1 draw against West Brom.

In a nutshell, it was a dismal performance from the Gunners at the Turf Moor with the team failing to register a single shot on target. And then they needed theatrical performance from Aaron Ramsey to win his team a penalty with seconds left on the clock for Alexis Sanchez to find the back of the net.

This is a lucky escape for the Wenger’s men who were second best in all departments of the game.

On the other hand, Huddersfield produced a stellar performance against Manchester City. Despite taking the lead in the first hand, they ended up losing 2-1, David Wagner must be pleased to see his team’s defensive efforts denying any clear cut chances from the open play for the free scoring league leaders.

It was an Aguero goal from penalty spot and a lucky deflection from Raheem Sterling in the final minutes that sealed the ill-fate for hard-working Terriers.

The teams met only once in over the last few decades, which was in an FA Cup tie at the Emirates Stadium back in 2011. Arsenal won 2-1 on that occasion.

CHELSEA VS SWANSEA CITY

Chelsea know nothing less than a perfect Premier League festive run will see their hopes of winning back-to-back titles disappear.

Swansea head to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night, with Antonio Conte’s champions sitting third in the table and 11 points behind leaders Manchester City after just 13 games.

Willian rescued a late 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday, but the Blues cannot afford to drop many more points if they are to stand a chance of catching Pep Guardiola’s men.

Luckily for Chelsea, former Blues assistant coach Paul Clement returns to the Bridge with a low-scoring Swansea side who are winless in five and in a relegation battle as they sit 19th in the table.

Conte may opt to rest a few key men given Swansea’s relative lack of firepower. Wing-back Victor Moses is available following a six-week hamstring injury absence and could well start on the right flank.

Striker Michy Batshuayi (ankle), forward Charly Musonda (knee) and the left-sided Kenedy (undisclosed) remain out.

Tammy Abraham will not be eligible to play against his parent club, meaning Wilfried Bony will be tasked with scoring a rare goal for the Swans.

MANCHESTER CITY VS SOUTHAMPTON

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City must face the pressure of being Premier League champions-elect as they host Southampton on Wednesday.

A late 2-1 win at Huddersfield on Sunday saw City restore their eight-point advantage over Manchester United at the top of the table after just 13 games.

The manner of City’s celebrations in Huddersfield suggested Guardiola and his players knew what a key win it could be in the context of the title race, and many pundits have already declared that they are uncatchable this season.

Southampton have been far from their best so far this term, but a morale-boosting 4-1 win over Everton on Sunday will send Mauricio Pellegrino’s Saints to the Etihad Stadium on a high.

John Stones is out for six weeks with a hamstring injury, joining long-term absentee Benjamin Mendy on the sidelines.

OTHER WEDNESDAY WEEK 14 FIXTURES

AFC Bournemouth VS Burnley

Everton VS West Ham United

Manchester City VS Southampton

Stoke City VS Liverpool

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