United aiming to keep good run going but face tough trip to Leicester

Premier League Preview Manchester United

Manchester United kick off last of all the games this match week as they travel to Leicester City. Only once have Leicester beaten United at home in the Premier League and that was the 5-3 in September 2014. United have won six of their last seven games going into this game and are three points ahead of Chelsea in 3rd. Leicester had been on a good run also until the 3-0 defeat to Palace last week ended their four-game winning run. Leicester are only six points behind a place in the top six.

Chelsea go into the game at Everton without striker Alvaro Morata who received his fifth booking of the season in midweek. Not once in the previous three meetings have Everton scored passed Chelsea but they have had a resurgence of form recently. Having won their last four home game this game cannot be taken lightly. Chelsea, however, have won eight of their last ten league games.

August’s 2-1 defeat at home was the closest that Bournemouth have come to avoiding defeat against Manchester City in their five Premier League meetings. A goal in the 97th minute settled the game that day but a similar result may be unlikely. That win on the south coast was the first in City’s 16 game-winning run in the league, and they could continue it on Saturday in front of their own fans. The league leaders hold an 11 point advantage at the top and the chances of someone closing that gap are reducing each week. Bournemouth haven’t won in their last six games and are now 16th in the league, just a point above the bottom three.

Arsenal last beat Liverpool in the league in April 2015, a run of five winless games against their rivals.  Only once at home this season have Arsenal failed to win and victory over Liverpool tonight will move them into 4th place. Liverpool’s run of nine games without losing has boosted their chance of Champions League football next season but they have failed to pull away from the other sides in the top five.

Not since the first Premier League meeting at Turf Moor in 2010 have Burnley beaten Tottenham. This season, however, they are in good form and currently sit above Spurs in the table in 6th. Four of Burnley’s last five home games have been won by them with a clean sheet. Although they are riding high in the league, they have scored only 16 goals this season. Tottenham have just two wins from their last five league games and are without an away win since the end of September.

Both Brighton and Watford are in poor form at the moment and are each without a win in their last five games. They meet in Brighton in Saturday having drawn 0-0 earlier in the season. Brighton were enduring a poor start to the season at the time but following an early dismissal for Watford, they really failed to make any chances pay. Watford we’re flying high in the table but have since dropped to 10th and need to turn it around quickly.

Huddersfield’s win last week was enough to move them above their next opponents Southampton in the table. They now travel to Saint Mary’s looking for their third win in four games. Southampton are on a poor run at the moment, failing to win in their last five games. Victory tomorrow would be enough to move them back into 11th in the league, however, and within a few points of the top ten.

Stoke have failed to beat West Brom in any of their last six meetings and one win in four games has seen them fall in the table. They are now just a point above the bottom three and defeat to West Brom would mean they drop down into the relegation zone. West Brom are 19th and have scored just once in their last four league games.

Only once have Crystal Palace beaten Swansea in the league and not since 2015. Palace are now, however, the team inform adder picking up points in their last seven games. That run has moved them from the bottom of the league to 14th and they could go higher if this form continues. Swansea are the side who replaced them at the foot of the table after picking up just four points in their last 10 games.

Tomorrow will be the 40th Premier League meeting between West Ham and Newcastle, of which Newcastle have won almost half. A win for the away side this time though will go against current form as they have lost their last four games. West Ham, on the other hand, have two wins and a draw in their last three games, a run which has moved them into 15th.

Manchester United will be second at Christmas, barring any large goal difference swings. Victory over Leicester will at least help them remain within a few wins of the top and, more importantly, ahead of third place Chelsea. Heading into the second half of the season it will be important to hold as much advantage as possible.