English Premier League Sunday Derbies preview: Will London be red or blue?
The Premier League schedule surely cannot have been randomized, as this week, fans are treated to not just one or two, but THREE DERBIES! To make things even more intense, all three are on Sunday, meaning the best has been saved for last.
After Friday’s and Saturday’s matches, to kick things off on Sunday, Fulham travel to Chelsea for a feisty London Derby. Then the power struggle of London commences, as Arsenal will want to extend their winning streak against arch-rivals Tottenham. That will be followed up by a classic Merseyside Derby between neighbors Liverpool and Fulham. Although unfortunately, we have to wait for all the way until Sunday for these matches. Why must we wait to preview them? Well, there’s no need for that, so let’s get started with Sunday’s first, Chelsea vs Fulham.
Chelsea vs Fulham
It’s been a while since Fulham has featured in one of these, but that’s with reason. Since I last previewed Fulham, they have only won once. In total, out of 13 matches, they have only won twice. Going into this derby, it seems like a waste of time predicting this, since Chelsea are a whole 16 spots above the visitors in the Premier League table. However, before you write Fulham off completely, they do have a few questions to pose Chelsea.
Since the last two weeks, Fulham fans may be seeing new light again. After the appointment of ex-Chelsea and Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri, Fulham finally won their second match in a massive 3-2 victory against Southampton at home. Chelsea’s last match may also be eye-opening to Fulham fans, as the Blues lost to rivals Tottenham Hotspurs 3-1 at Wembley last week.
Despite this, nearly everything looks in favor of Chelsea. Not to add on that Fulham has only beat Chelsea once in Premier League history. Fulham’s biggest threat this time will be winger Eden Hazard, who holds seven goals to his name. Ranieri himself did say that improving Fulham’s defense will be the toughest job he has ever held, but Fulham has a Hazard of their own in Aleksander Mitrović, who has also scored seven goals this season.
Although Fulham will definitely give a fight, impossible things do not happen upon asking. Chelsea has nearly everything on their side, and it seems they will fight to regain their third spot from Tottenham.
Prediction: Chelsea 4-0 Fulham
Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspurs
It’s been a long wait, but there couldn’t have been any better timing for the North London Derby. Both teams are neck and neck in the table, with Arsenal two points and spots below Spurs with a chance to not only break into the top four, where Arsenal belong, but to also knock Tottenham out of the top four.
Both teams are near full-fitness, with Danny Rose returning for the visitors, Tottenham. Arsenal will have to do without Danny Welbeck after his devastating ankle injury against Sporting Lisbon, but Alexandre Lacazette, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will most likely return for the Gunners.
Tottenham does come off of a win against Chelsea, but Arsenal is currently 17 games undefeated, the most in Europe’s top five leagues. However, in their last eight encounters, Arsenal has only won once.
Tottenham’s higher position might give them an advantage, but Arsenal do get the home advantage and their offense has been scoring goals for fun this season.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham Hotspurs
Liverpool vs Everton
Although Everton has not won a Merseyside derby in seven years (and their last win at Anfield coming 19 years ago!), this could be their best chance to win one. Everton has had an impressive season so far, sitting in sixth, ahead of Manchester United and behind Arsenal. Liverpool, although sitting in second, who is looking to knock Manchester City out of first, do have some injury problems to attend to.
Adam Lallana, Divock Origi, Dominic Solanke and Nathaniel Clyne might not start due to injury concerns. Captain Jordan Henderson will also miss out on a red-card suspension. Everton, on the other hand, possesses a fully-fit squad. However, that doesn’t mean the win is guaranteed.
Liverpool’s front three in Mohammad Salah, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino have arguably been the best this season, with 16 goals and six assists between the three of them. Perhaps Everton will most likely score at Anfield Sunday, but that doesn’t guarantee victory, especially if Liverpool are bound to score more.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-2 Everton