Everton vs Aston Villa
Goodson Park, Liverpool
Thursday, 16-07-2020 @8pm
Ref: Anthony Taylor
Everton versus Aston Villa is the most played fixture in English top-flight history, with the Toffees winning 76 of the 203 previous meetings compared to Villa’s 74. Villa are looking to secure their first league double over Everton since the 2000-01 season. They are without an away win against Everton in all competitions dating back to a 3-2 victory in December 2008.
Everton defender Yerry Mina has been ruled out with the muscle injury that forced him off in the first half against Wolves. Mason Holgate and Andre Gomes are fit enough to return following shin and ankle problems respectively.
Aston Villa defenders Kortney Hause and Neil Taylor are expected to miss out. Hause hurt his rib during the pre-match warm-up against Crystal Palace, while Taylor was forced off in that game because of a hamstring issue.
Only Liverpool are on a longer unbeaten Premier League home run than Everton’s current 10-match streak (W5, D5). It’s their most games without defeat at Goodison Park since December 2016. After amassing 17 points in Carlo Ancelotti’s first eight games in charge, Everton have taken just nine from as many matches. Dominic Calvert-Lewin had scored eight goals in 11 league games before the enforced break. He’s yet to find the net in six matches since the restart and his 15 shots is the most by a top-flight player in that time without scoring.
Aston Villa last won consecutive league games back in October. They have won just three of their past 36 Premier League away fixtures. The Villans have gone 24 games without an away clean sheet in the top flight; only five clubs have ever been on a longer run in the Premier League. Scoring two goals in their win over Crystal Palace was as many as they had managed in their previous eight league matches combined. After not losing more than 17 league matches in any of their first 21 Premier League campaigns, they have lost at least 20 in each of their last four top-flight seasons.
Leicester City vs Sheffield United
King Power Stadium, Leicestershire
Thursday, 16-07-2020 @8pm
Ref: Michael Oliver
Leicester’s Marc Albrighton, James Maddison and Ben Chilwell face fitness tests, while Caglar Soyuncu is banned. Albrighton came off with a knock against Bournemouth, a game which Chilwell and Maddison missed with respective foot and hip injuries.
Sheffield United’s John Fleck could return after a groin injury but Leon Clarke and Luke Freeman remain out. Chris Basham, who was substituted after taking a ball to the face against Chelsea, will be assessed.
Leicester City have won the past four meetings in all competitions. The Foxes are aiming to do the double over Sheffield United for the first time since 1928-29. This is the first time Leicester have hosted the Blades in a top-flight match since February 1976.
Leicester have won just one of their six matches since the Premier League restarted (D3, L2) – only relegated Norwich have fared worse. They are aiming to keep four consecutive home clean sheets in the Premier League for the first time since February 2016, when they had five in their title-winning campaign. Leicester have not ended a Premier League round of fixtures outside the top four in the table since mid-September. Jamie Vardy is just one goal short of his previous best tally in the Premier League, which was 24 goals in 2015-16. Vardy could become only the second Leicester player to finish a campaign as the top flight’s leading goalscorer, emulating Gary Lineker who was joint top scorer with Chelsea’s Kerry Dixon in 1984-85. Thursday is the only day of the week on which Leicester have never won a Premier League game (D3, L2). Their last top-flight victory on a Thursday was 3-1 against Aston Villa in December 1985.
Sheffield United have won three of their past four matches, drawing the other. However, they have gone four away games without a win (D2, L2), scoring just one goal. Only one of their last 12 Premier League goals was scored away from Bramall Lane. The Blades have 54 points from their opening 35 games this season, the highest tally for a promoted club at this stage of a Premier League campaign since Ipswich in 2000-01. Sheffield United have conceded just five goals from set-pieces in the Premier League this season, the fewest in the division. They have conceded 33 league goals this season – the fewest conceded by a promoted club in a season is 41 by Newcastle United in 1993-94.
Crystal Palace vs Man United
Selhurst Park, London
Thursday, 16-07-2020 @10:15pm
Ref: Graham Scott
Crystal Palace’s victory in the reverse fixture ended their 22-match winless top-flight run against the Red Devils (D4, L18). United are unbeaten in all 10 Premier League trips to Selhurst Park (W7, D3) – a competition record for most away fixtures against an opponent without ever losing. Palace’s most recent home win over United was 3-0 in the old First Division in May 1991. The Eagles have only scored 10 goals in the 21 Premier League meetings.
Crystal Palace forward Christian Benteke begins a season-ending three-match suspension on Thursday. Defenders Gary Cahill and James Tomkins are again absent because of injury, but Jeffrey Schlupp is available.
Manchester United duo Mason Greenwood and Luke Shaw both have ankle injuries and are being assessed, while Brandon Williams is a doubt after suffering a cut above his eye on Monday night. Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones remain certain absentees.
Palace have lost five consecutive league games and let in 13 goals – this directly follows a four-match winning streak without conceding. This is their worst run of form since equalling the club top-flight record of eight successive defeats in 2017. Since the restart, Palace have conceded 2.2 league goals per game, double their tally prior to lockdown. Their total of 14 home league goals is three fewer than any other club. Palace have scored first-half goals in just nine of their 35 league matches. Ex-Manchester United player Wilfried Zaha made 12 Premier League appearances without scoring while on loan at Cardiff City in 2013-14, under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Manchester United are unbeaten in 18 matches in all competitions (W13, D5). They haven’t had a longer streak since going 29 fixtures without defeat in 2010. United have won consecutive away league games for the first time since they recorded six straight victories in February 2019 at the beginning of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure as manager. They have earned back-to back away league clean sheets, directly following a run of just two in 20 on their travels. The Red Devils have won all three of their midweek fixtures by a 3-0 scoreline since the restart. Bruno Fernandes has scored seven goals and provided seven assists in 11 Premier League appearances. Fernandes has been involved in six goals in his last four away league games – he has five goals and one assist. Mason Greenwood is one goal shy of equalling the club record set by George Best, Brian Kidd and Wayne Rooney of 17 goals in a season while still a teenager.
Southampton vs Brighton and Hove Albion
St. Mary’s Stadium, Hampshire
Thursday, 16-07-2020 @10:15pm
Ref: Andre Marriner
Brighton midfielder Steven Alzate requires surgery on a groin injury and will miss the rest of the season. He joins Jose Izquierdo on the sidelines, but they are head coach Graham Potter’s only absentees.
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has said he may make changes to his starting XI given the tight turnaround between fixtures for his side. The injured trio of Sofiane Boufal, Moussa Djenepo and Yan Valery have again been ruled out.
Brighton are the side Southampton have faced the most in the Premier League without losing, having gone undefeated in all five matches against them. The Saints have lost just two of their past 19 matches against the Seagulls in all competitions. Brighton’s solitary league win in six matches at St Mary’s was in League One in November 2009.
Southampton are the only Premier League side this season to have earned more points away than at home (17 home, 28 away). One more home defeat would set a new club league record of 11 in a season. The Premier League record for most home defeats in a single campaign and avoiding relegation is 11 by Hull City (2008-09), Sunderland (2013-14) and Crystal Palace (2016-17). After scoring in seven of his first 11 home league matches this season, Danny Ings has netted in just one of his last six at St Mary’s.
Brighton are unbeaten in five Premier League away games (W1, D4), which is the longest current run in the top flight. If they avoid defeat in this match they would set a new club record for top-flight away games without losing. They are aiming to win consecutive top-flight away fixtures for only the third time after April 1981 and October to November 2017. They have won just two of their 21 midweek Premier League matches, beating Crystal Palace in December 2018 and Arsenal earlier this season. Graham Potter’s only Premier League experience as a player was eight appearances for Southampton in 1996-97. His only victory in those matches was a famous 6-3 win over Manchester United in October 1996.
Premier League upcoming fixture
-West Ham United vs Watford @10pm
Premier League recent results
-Man United 2-2 Southampton
-Chelsea 1-0 Norwich City
-Burnley 1-1 Wolves
-Man City 2-1 AFC Bournemouth
-Newcastle United 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur
-Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool