Norwich City vs West Ham United
Carrow Road, Norfolk
Saturday, 11-07-2020 @2:30pm
West Ham are undefeated in four fixtures against Norwich (W2, D2), and won August’s reverse fixture 2-0. Norwich are unbeaten in their previous 17 home league games versus the Hammers (W9, D8), with their last defeat a 1-0 loss in February 1973. Eight of the last 13 league encounters have ended in draws. The away side has never won in 11 previous Premier League encounters between the sides.
Norwich are boosted by Todd Cantwell’s return from injury but Kenny McLean is a doubt due to a knee problem. Grant Hanley, Sam Byram, Moritz Leitner and Christoph Zimmermann have again been ruled out for the Canaries.
West Ham are poised to make changes from the side beaten in midweek with record signing Sebastien Haller hoping for his first start since a hip injury. Felipe Anderson and Robert Snodgrass continue to miss out with respective hamstring and back problems.
Norwich have won just one of their past 11 league matches (D1, L9) and are currently on a six-game losing streak – one defeat short of their longest such sequence in the Premier League. The Canaries have failed to score in a league-high 16 games this season. They have scored just five goals in 14 league matches so far in 2020. Emiliano Buendia’s goal at Watford midweek ended Norwich’s run of seven hours and 53 minutes without a league goal. It was his first Premier League goal in his 33rd appearance. The Canaries have accrued a league-low 15 home points this season (W4, D3, L10) and have conceded in 15 of their 17 matches at Carrow Road. Daniel Farke’s men have scored 26 Premier League goals, at least four fewer than any other side. The Canaries are the only side in Europe’s top five leagues yet to claim a point from a losing position this term.
West Ham are winless in eight away league matches (D1, L7) and have conceded 17 goals during this run. The Hammers had 21 shots during Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to Burnley, their most without scoring since December 2016. West Ham have lost 19 Premier League games this term, just two short of their all-time record. They have dropped a league-high 24 points from winning positions. West Ham are without a clean sheet in 14 league matches. The Hammers are unbeaten against fellow bottom six clubs (W3, D4) this term. They have four league games remaining with three of them against sides currently below them in the table. Michail Antonio has been directly involved in five goals in his last seven league appearances, scoring three goals and assisting two.
Watford vs Newcastle United
Vicarage Road, London
Saturday, 11-07-2020 @2:30pm
Watford have not reported any new fitness concerns. The Hornets remain without long-term injury victims Gerard Deulofeu, Daryl Janmaat and Isaac Success.
Newcastle are hopeful captain Jamaal Lascelles will return from an ankle problem, but Emil Krafth is a doubt. The Magpies will also monitor the fitness of Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin, neither of whom played in Wednesday’s 5-0 defeat at Manchester City.
Watford are unbeaten in all five of their Premier League home games against Newcastle (W2, D3). After winning two of their first three Premier League meetings with Watford, Newcastle have won just one of their last eight against the Hornets (D3, L4).
Watford ended a run of three consecutive defeats by beating Norwich midweek, and can win back-to-back league games for the first time since January. All seven of Watford’s Premier League victories this season have come against sides currently in the top six or bottom three. They are winless in 17 matches against the teams from seventh to 16th place (D8, L9). The Hornets have kept seven clean sheets in Premier League home games this season, a total exceeded only by Burnley and Manchester City. Watford have converted 12% of their Premier League shots under Nigel Pearson – the corresponding figure in 2019-20 under Quique Sanchez Flores was 6%, and under Javi Gracia was 3.6%. Danny Welbeck’s winner against Norwich was his first league goal for Watford, and his first in the competition for 682 days. Welbeck last scored in consecutive Premier League appearances in February 2016.
Newcastle’s league games have produced an average of 3.8 goals per match since the restart (10 scored, nine conceded), compared to 2.3 per game before the season was suspended. They are one short of becoming the 10th club to score 2,000 away goals in the top flight. The Magpies have averaged a league-low 37.5% possession in this season’s Premier League. Steve Bruce has the worst goal difference (-128) of any manager in Premier League history, although the 5-0 defeat at Manchester City was only the sixth time in 426 top-flight games that one of his teams has conceded five times in a single match.
Liverpool vs Burnley
Anfield Stadium, London
Saturday, 11-07-2020 @5pm
Burnley have only won one of the 11 Premier League meetings, drawing one and losing nine. The Clarets are on a 12-match winless run at Anfield stretching back to 1974, drawing two games and losing 10.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is out for the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury at Brighton. Joel Matip remains sidelined but fellow defender Dejan Lovren is available once more after missing the last three games.
Burnley are again without injured quartet Jack Cork, Ashley Barnes, Ben Mee and Matt Lowton. Fit-again striker Chris Wood is in contention to start after featuring as a substitute in the last two games.
Liverpool have won all 17 of their home league games this season and their last 24 in a row in total – a run stretching back to a 1-1 draw with Leicester in January 2019. An 18th win would see them equal the Premier League record for home victories in a single campaign. Liverpool’s 57-game unbeaten home Premier League run has seen them score 149 goals and concede just 32. The Reds need three wins from their final four matches to surpass the record points total in English top-flight history (Manchester City ended with 100 in 2017-18). Victory in all their remaining games would see them break the record for the highest points total in one of the top five European leagues, set by Juventus (102 points) in 2013-14. Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have both scored four goals in their last three Premier League games for Liverpool against Burnley. Mohamed Salah is one goal away from becoming the first Liverpool player to score 20 or more goals in three consecutive top-flight campaigns since Roger Hunt did so in four from 1962-66.
Burnley have lost just one of their last 12 top-flight games. They have kept 14 Premier League clean sheets this season – second only to Liverpool.· Burnley could keep clean sheets in three consecutive top-flight away matches for the first time since 1955. Victory for the Clarets would see them set a new outright club record of 15 wins in a single Premier League season.
Sheffield United vs Chelsea
Bramell Lane, Sheffield
Saturday, 11-07-2020 @7:30pm
Sheffield United are assessing John Fleck and David McGoldrick after they both missed the Blades’ midweek victory over Wolves through injury. Oli McBurnie is also being monitored, having lasted just 49 minutes on Wednesday because of fatigue.
Chelsea midfielders N’Golo Kante and Billy Gilmour are both absent, with the latter out for at least three months. Mateo Kovacic has returned to training and is available but Fikayo Tomori remains on the sidelines.
Chelsea are unbeaten in four meetings between the clubs (W3, D1), having lost the four previous league encounters. Sheffield United have won five of their past seven home matches against the Blues, albeit Chelsea did win on their last visit to Bramall Lane in October 2006 with current Blues boss Frank Lampard both scoring and assisting Chelsea goals. The previous seven Premier League contests between the sides have produced 24 goals in total.
Sheffield United are unbeaten in three league matches (W2, D1). The Blades have lost just one of their last nine league fixtures at Bramall Lane (W6, D2). They are looking to record four consecutive Premier League home wins for the first time. United’s tally of 51 points after 34 Premier League matches is the highest by a promoted team since 2000-01. Chris Wilder’s side are winless this season against the league’s current top five clubs (D2, L6). The Blades have won 1-0 on seven occasions this season, a league-high. Sheffield United have conceded 33 league goals – only Liverpool and Leicester have let in fewer this season. Defender John Egan has scored in back-to-back games, having previously failed to score in 72 matches in all competitions. Blades boss Chris Wilder played in Sheffield United’s 1-0 top flight home win versus Chelsea on 16 March 1991.
Chelsea have won six of their past eight Premier League fixtures (D1, L1). They have won their last five Premier League games in Yorkshire and are unbeaten in their last nine in the county (W7, D2). The Blues have accrued 30 points in away matches this term (W9, D3, L5), with only champions Liverpool gaining more. Frank Lampard’s side have kept just one away league clean sheet this term. Chelsea have scored two goals or more in 10 of their last 11 top-flight fixtures. Olivier Giroud has scored four goals in his last six league games, including in each of the last two. The Frenchman had only scored in four of his previous 40 matches in the competition. Christian Pulisic has scored in three of Chelsea’s five league matches since the restart. Tammy Abraham has scored three goals in his two league appearances against Sheffield United. Willian has registered four goals and two assists across his last four appearances.
Brighton and Hove Albion vs Man City
American Express Community Stadium,
Saturday, 11-07-2020 @10pm
Brighton have lost all five of their Premier League matches with Manchester City, conceding 15 goals and scoring just twice. The Seagulls last claimed league points against City in a second-tier game in April 1989, winning 2-1 at the Goldstone Ground thanks to an Alan Curbishley penalty and an Ian Brightwell own goal. City are unbeaten in their last eight top-flight games against Brighton, a sequence dating back to October 1981.
Brighton head coach Graham Potter has a fully-fit squad to pick from apart from long-term injury victim Jose Izquierdo, who is recovering from a knee injury. Steven Alzate has not featured since the restart because of a groin problem, but could make his return.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is likely to rotate his squad and make changes to the side that beat Newcastle. Sergio Aguero continues his rehabilitation after knee surgery.
Brighton have only won two of their 14 Premier League games in 2020, the joint fewest in the top flight, although both of these victories have come since the restart. The Seagulls have lost three of their last four home league games, which is as many as they had in their previous 13 at the Amex Stadium. They need four points to match their highest Premier League points tally of 40, set in 2017-18. They have already scored more goals than they had in their previous two seasons in the division. They are unbeaten in all nine Premier League matches Neal Maupay has scored in.
Manchester City have lost their last three away matches in the top flight – they last suffered four defeats in a row on the road between March and April 2015. Its the first time Pep Guardiola has lost three successive top flight away fixtures as a manager. Man City have scored just three goals in their last six league away games. In those matches they have had 99 shots (30 on target), with an expected goals total of nearly 13. Pep Guardiola’s side have had 654 shots in the top flight this season, at least 87 more than any other side. They are averaging 19.2 shots-per-game in the Premier League this term, the most by a side since Liverpool (19.4 per game) in 2012-13. Five City players have scored 10 or more league goals this season – the last top-flight side to achieve this were Everton in 1984-85. Their passing accuracy against Newcastle of 93.7% (787 of 840 passes) is the highest in the Premier League since such data began to be recorded in 2003-04.
The other Premier League games this weekend
-Wolves vs Everton @2pm
-Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace @4:15pm
-Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal @6:30
-AFC Bournemouth vs Leicester City @9pm
-Man United vs Southampton @10pm