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EPL Preview: It’s ‘A Clash Of The Titians’ At The Bridge As Chelsea Takes On Man Utd


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Two of the Premier League’s most iconic clubs collide at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, with Chelsea and Manchester United accounting for 18 of the 30 Premier League titles on offer since the competition’s inception in 1992. Both are now embarking on journeys under new managers, with Blues boss Graham Potter unbeaten in his first seven outings since switching allegiances from Brighton (W5, D2). Having conceded just twice since Thomas Tuchel was axed, Chelsea have a water-tight defence to thank for that up-turn in form.

A resurgent Man Utd look primed to capitalise on any tiredness within the Chelsea camp after putting in their “best team performance so far” under Erik ten Hag’s leadership to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0, also on Wednesday. Since losing his first two games in charge, the Dutchman has overseen a run of just one defeat from their last eight league games (W6, D1), and United could overtake their hosts with victory here and move into the top four in the process.

While in other matches, Nottingham Forest’s return to the Premier League (PL) for the first time this century has been far from a fairytale, as nine consecutive winless league matches (D3, L6) has left them firmly embedded in the relegation zone after back-to-back scoreless away trips, Forest return to the City Ground having accumulated the lowest amount of points at home thus far with just four (W1, D1, L3).

But in today’s times it is Liverpool fans who’ll be the ones smiling, after a pair of 1-0 wins over Manchester City and West Ham secured their first three-game winning streak of the season to move them up to seventh.The Reds will use this momentum to try and muster their first league win on the road this season, backed by having scored in 31 of their last 33 away PL matches. Doing so will avoid some notorious history for Liverpool, as not since 2006/07 have they opened a PL campaign winless in their opening five away matches.

It’s been a topsy-turvy few days for Manchester City who lost their Premier League (PL) unbeaten record this season (W7, D2, L1) after a contentious 1-0 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday, only to then be named Club of the Year at the Ballon d’Or ceremony. Manager Pep Guardiola must now focus his side on avoiding two consecutive league defeats for the first time since December 2018 in order to keep the pressure on league leaders Arsenal.

Having recorded nine consecutive home league wins since drawing 2-2 with Liverpool in April, the Cityzens are used to dominating their opponents at the Etihad, and that run coincidentally started with a 3-0 hammering of Brighton who are struggling to get used to life without Graham Potter. New manager Roberto De Zerbi is still seeking a first win since taking charge (D2, L2) and the Seagulls have now taken a worrying 54 shots on goal since last scoring!



Everton takes on Crystal Palace at the Goodison Park,this fixture last season delivered one of Goodison Park’s most memorable nights as Everton came back from 2-0 down at half-time to win 3-2 and secure their Premier League (PL) survival. They could do with another game to remember here as the Toffees aim to steer clear of the relegation zone again and halt a three-game losing run.

Frank Lampard’s men have gone 265 minutes of regulation time without scoring during that streak and didn’t even manage a shot on target in their most recent 1-0 defeat away to Newcastle United.

Midtable Crystal Palace will arrive on Merseyside full of confidence after losing just one of their last six PL matches (W2, D3), and even that came via a last-minute defeat against Chelsea. As Wolves found on Tuesday night, the Eagles are proving tricky to pin down even when opponents have managed to take the initiative, as their 2-1 win in that game meant they’ve won nine PL points – all in victories – from losing positions this season.

While form is with the visitors coming into this clash, history is certainly against them. They’ve not won any of their last seven visits to Goodison Park (D3, L4) which is an issue made worse by their recent inability to put their best foot forward in traditional Saturday 3pm kick-offs, as Patrick Vieira’s men are without a win in such a game across their last three PL attempts (D1, L2).


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