EPL preview for Round 16
The meeting of Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday
, 8 December, is the key match of round 16 this coming weekend in the 2018/19 Premier League.
Log leaders City will head to London to take on one of the pretenders to their throne in what could well be one of the most entertaining games of the season – two teams with great attacking potential, led by progressive managers, will look to pass each other off the pitch in a feast for the football purist.
Maurizio Sarri’s ‘project’ at the Blues is not as far developed or executed as Pep Guardiola’s at the Citizens, but the Italian has made massive strides in turning his team into one which values possession and control of the game above all else, and with home advantage on their side they could well pose a serious challenge.
Yet City are the more well-rounded team, capable of matching or even exceeding Chelsea’s passing style while also boasting a superior defence. If they perform to their usual sky-high standard, the Manchester side will likely come away with all three points. Guardiola’s team also has the edge over Chelsea in recent head-to-heads, winning all of the last three matches between the clubs (including the Community Shield clash back in August).
Other matches to look out for include Leicester City at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday night, with the Foxes looking to continue their recent solid form. However, they will face a tough test against the Lilywhites, whose front four of Son Heung-min, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane are amongst the best attackers in Europe.
A key clash will also be played out at St James Park, with Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers both hoping to open up daylight between themselves and the relegation zone. The Magpies will look the likes of Mohamed Diame and Christian Atsu for inspiration against Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves, who have fallen away sharply from their early-season excellence.
The same can be said for Bournemouth, who have a tough home clash against Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah’s Liverpool, West Ham United and Wilfried Zaha’s Crystal Palace will have a derby at the London Stadium, and Manchester United will hope they can hit top gear when Claudio Ranieri brings his Fulham team to Old Trafford.
The round wraps up on Monday night at Goodison Park with a clash between Everton and Watford. Senegal’s Idrissa Gueye will look to give the Toffees control of the engine room, while Nigerian forward Isaac Success will provide pace and power for the Hornets – be it as a starter or off the bench.
Key match stats
Newcastle United v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Head-to-head, Premier League
Matches played 6
United wins 2
Wolves wins 0
Chelsea v Manchester City – Head-to-head, Premier League
Matches played 42
Chelsea wins 24
City wins 11
Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur – Head-to-head, Premier League
Matches played 24
Leicester wins 10
Spurs wins 9
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