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Football

United seek solace away to unbeaten Chelsea in Premier league headline fixture

Chelsea vs Manchester United

Stamford Bridge, London

Friday, 20-10-2018 @02:30pm

Referee: Mike Dean

Manchester United will travel to Stamford Bridge hoping their can record a victory that may kick-start their season. Jose Mourinho’s side have had a troubled start to the league that has seen them win only four of their first eight games. The task at hand at lunch time on Saturday can not get any harder as they come up against a Chelsea side that is still unbeaten this season and has defeated them (United) in all four of their last visits to the Bridge.

Ahead of the clash, Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is expected to recover from a groin problem and extend his ever-present league record this season. Ross Barkley is fit but Ethan Ampadu is ruled out by a knee injury sustained during Wales’ friendly defeat by Spain.

For Manchester United’s Ander Herrera is likely to return from a three-match absence with an ankle injury. They will also will assess the fitness of Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic, Marouane Fellaini, Scott McTominay and Diogo Dalot. Jesse Lingard is not expected to recover from a groin injury in time to face Chelsea.

Chelsea’s solitary defeat in the past 16 Premier League meetings at Stamford Bridge came in October 2012 when they had two players sent off (W10, D5, L1). Manchester United haven’t won a competitive fixture away to Chelsea in six attempts since Sir Alex Ferguson retired at the end of the 2012-13 season, drawing once and losing five times. United have lost 18 Premier League games against Chelsea, more than versus any other side. The Blues and Brighton are the only clubs to have won more Premier League matches against United than they have lost. The Red Devils could win consecutive league matches against Chelsea for the first time since 2011.

AFC Bournemouth vs Southampton

Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth

Saturday, 20-10-2018 @05:00pm

Referee: Lee Probert

Bournemouth pair Ryan Fraser and Joshua King are fitness doubts because of respective hamstring and ankle issues. Charlie Daniels is nearing a return from a knee injury but will not be available this weekend.

Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy has recovered from the hamstring tightness that prompted his withdrawal from the recent England squad. Stuart Armstrong has overcome a calf problem, ensuring Southampton have a fully-fit squad.

Bournemouth’s only league victory over Southampton in 11 attempts spanning 60 years came in March 2016; Steve Cook and Benik Afobe scored in a 2-0 Premier League home win.Southampton have lost just two of their last 14 games against Bournemouth in all competitions (W8, D4, L2).

Cardiff City vs Fulham

Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff

Saturday, 20-10-2018 @05:00pm

Referee: Kevin Friend

Fulham have not kept a clean sheet in their last 21 matches against Cardiff in all competitions, although they are unbeaten in the seven most recent meetings (W3, D4). Cardiff won the only two Premier League encounters between these sides, which came in the 2013-14 season. Both teams were relegated. The Bluebirds’ 3-1 win against the Cottagers on 8 March 2014 remains their most recent home victory in the top flight. None of the last 19 Premier League games between two newly-promoted clubs have ended in an away win (12 home wins, seven draws). The last such fixture won by the visitors was Leicester’s 1-0 victory at Burnley in April 2015.

Cardiff’s Joe Ralls begins a three-game ban, although the midfielder may be sidelined beyond his suspension because of a chipped bone in his knee. A knee injury rules out Danny Ward, while fellow striker Gary Madine is doubtful with an illness. However, Aron Gunnarsson and Alex Smithies are both available.

Tom Cairney remains absent for Fulham because of a lack of match fitness, while Joe Bryan is still sidelined by a hamstring injury. Timothy Fosu-Mensah is close to a return from a dislocated shoulder and will be assessed.

Manchester City vs Burnely

Etihad Stadium, Manchester

Saturday, 20-10-2018 @05:00pm

Referee: Jonathan Moss

Man City will be out to solidify top spot in the league when the defending champions welcome Burnely at the Etihad Stadium. City currently sit top of the table on goal difference and with Chelsea up against United early in the day and Liverpool playing later, the Citizens may be out right leaders at the final whistle if they take care of Burnely on Saturday afternoon.

Kevin de Bruyne is available for Manchester City after recovering from a knee injury, although it remains to be seen whether he is ready to start. Fabian Delph is back in contention after a month on the sidelines but Ilkay Gundogan is again ruled out.

Fit-again Burnley midfielder Steven Defour could make his first league appearance since January. The Belgian, who has recovered from a knee injury, missed the Clarets’ last game for personal reasons. James Tarkowski is set to play despite withdrawing from England duty because of an ongoing groin problem, but Stephen Ward is out for several weeks after undergoing minor knee surgery.

Manchester City have won four of their eight Premier League games against Burnley (D3, L1). The Clarets are winless in their last 14 league games away to City (D6, L8), with their last victory coming in a top-flight game at Maine Road in 1963. Burnley have only won one of the last 19 encounters in league and cup, a sequence spanning 43 years.

Newcastle United vs Brighton and Hove Albion

St. James Park, Newcastle

Saturday, 20-10-2015 @05:00pm

Referee: Andre Marriner

Newcastle go into the game having won only two of their past 10 league and cup matches against Brighton (D3, L5). However, Brighton have only scored once in their last five league away fixtures at Newcastle, which came in a 1-0 second tier win in March 1992.

Magpies striker Salomon Rondon is again absent, along with Ciaran Clark, who suffered a thigh injury during training with the Republic of Ireland. Defender Paul Dummett returns after a two-match absence following a hamstring strain.

Brighton will be without Davy Propper for several weeks due to the ankle problem he picked up against West Ham. Pascal Gross could return from a similar issue, but Dale Stephens and Gaetan Bong are both doubts.

West Ham United vs Tottenham Hotspurs

London Stadium, London

Saturday, 20-10-2018 @05:00pm

Referee: Martin Artkinson

West Ham striker Marko Arnautovic has been declared fit despite still nursing an ongoing knee injury. Arthur Masuaku is expected to overcome an ankle problem, while striker Javier Hernandez could return after a five-match absence with a virus.

Tottenham duo Christian Eriksen and Mousa Dembele are available again, while Victor Wanyama and Serge Aurier should also be fit to feature. Dele Alli, Danny Rose and Jan Vertonghen all remain out.

West Ham have won 14 Premier League games against Tottenham, which is their joint-highest tally against a specific opponent. Tottenham could win successive league matches at West Ham for the first time since August 2009. There have been 28 goals in the past eight meetings – 3.5 goals per game on average.

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Watford

Molineux Stadium, Wolves

Saturday, 20-10-2018 @05:00pm

Referee: Lee Mason

With no fresh injury concerns, Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo could name the same starting XI for the ninth consecutive league game this season.

Watford defenders Christian Kabasele and Jose Holebas are both suspended. Midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah, who made his England debut against Spain on Monday, is a doubt with a knee problem. Daryl Janmaat and midfielder Tom Cleverley are still recovering from knee and Achilles injuries respectively but defender Marc Navarro is fit again.

This is the first Premier League meeting – their only other top-flight clashes came in the 1983-84 season, with Wolves winning 5-0 at home and drawing 0-0 away. Eleven of the last 17 league meetings at Molineux have been draws, with Wolves winning five and losing just one.

Huddersfield Town vs Liverpool

The St. John Smith’s Stadium, West Yorkshire

Saturday, 20-10-2018 @07:30pm

Referee: Mike Oliver

Liverpool go into Saturday’s late kick-off hoping to avoid going five games minus victory this season, having begun the season with seven consecutive victories. They have also failed to win any of their last six games against teams in the relegation zone, drawing two and losing four. However, the home side have not won in 12 Premier League games (D5, L7) – their longest winless league streak since 2000. They are also enduring their longest run without victory from the beginning of a top-flight season.

Huddersfield pair Philip Billing and Isaac Mbenza should be available after ankle and knee injuries respectively. The Terriers remain without injured trio Tommy Smith, Terrence Kongolo and Danny Williams.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane picked up injuries on international duty and will be assessed. James Milner and Naby Keita are definitely ruled out because of hamstring problems.

Huddersfield are without a win in the past 12 meetings in all competitions, drawing three and losing nine. They have failed to score in the last seven of those fixtures since a 1-1 draw at Anfield in April 1962. The Terriers managed just one shot on target in the two Premier League meetings last season. Liverpool need two goals to become the first club to score 100 top-flight goals against the Terriers.

Everton vs Crystal Palace

Goodison Park, Liverpool

Sunday, 21-10-2018 @06:00pm

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Yerry Mina, Andre Gomes and James McCarthy could all be involved in some capacity as Everton welcome Crystal Palace to Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon. Defender Mina and midfielder Gomes have yet to make their Toffees debuts following their deadline-day moves from Barcelona due to respective foot and hamstring injuries, but both have returned to full training. So, too, has McCarthy, who has been sidelined since suffering a horrific double leg break in January, but fellow midfielder Idrissa Gueye is a doubt after injuring his ankle while on Senegal duty during the international break.

Wilfried Zaha faces a late fitness test on an adductor injury before Sunday’s game. Max Meyer and Alexander Sorloth will similarly be given time to recover from viral infections. Christian Benteke is recovering from surgery on his knee, Joel Ward has a muscular injury, and Scott Dann and Connor Wickham are short of match fitness following long-term knee injuries.

Everton are unbeaten in seven Premier League games against Crystal Palace (P7 W3 D4 L0) since a 3-2 defeat at Goodison Park in September 2014. Crystal Palace have won more away Premier League games against Everton than against any other side (4), though they’ve won none of their last three there (D2 L1). 15% of the goals scored in Premier League matches between Everton and Crystal Palace have been penalties (7 of 48) – the joint-highest percentage of any fixture in the competition to have seen at least 40 goals (level with Arsenal vs Stoke). Everton have lost 11 of their last 14 Premier League games played on a Sunday (W1 D2 L11), with their solitary victory in that run coming against Watford last November (3-2). Everton are looking to record three consecutive Premier League victories for the first time since January 2017 – with the third win in that run coming at home against Crystal Palace.

Arsenal vs Leicester City

Emirates Stadium, London

Monday, 22-10-2018 @10:00pm

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Arsenal will go into Monday night’s game hoping to make it a perfect 10 wins in as many games when they host a Leicester City side that has lost half of their first eight games including a 2-1 loss at home to Everton in their last game.

Mesut Ozil has returned to full training following a back spasm while Danny Welbeck has also shrugged off a hamstring injury that ruled him out the international break with England. Sokratis Papastathopoulos (ankle) and Petr Cech (hamstring) will both face late fitness tests ahead of Monday’s encounter but centre-backs Laurent Koscielny and Konstantinos Mavropanos are still sidelined. Ainsley Maitland-Niles is back in contention for the first time since fracturing his leg against Manchester City.

For the visitors, Ben Chilwell has returned fit but Wes Morgan is suspended after his red card against Everton, while Demarai Gray (ankle) and Matty James (Achilles) are injured.

Arsenal have never lost a home Premier League match against Leicester City (P12 W11 D1 L0), winning the last 11 in a row. In all competitions, Leicester are winless in their last 25 visits to Arsenal (P25 W0 D6 L19) since winning 2-0 in the top-flight in September 1973. Arsenal’s 11-game home winning run in the top-flight against Leicester is their second best in their history – their best run is 13 in a row against Stoke City between 1983 and 2018. Arsenal are looking to win 10 consecutive games in all competitions for the sixth time in their history, and first since a run of 12 ending in October 2007. Leicester have won two of their last three Premier League away games – as many as they had in their previous 11 on the road (W2 D1 L8). However, the Foxes are winless in their last seven league games in London (D3 L4) since beating West Ham in March 2017.

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